Consciousness,  Ego,  Non-duality,  Practice

The Play of Forces

I’m obviously into forces these days.  My second last post talked about the importance of recognizing that our own personal will is but one of innumerable forces acting on our lives at any moment.  This post is about learning to cooperate with and see ourselves as a dynamic play of forces in yoga practice.  Through this, we come to know ourselves as something other than the rigid, crystallized entity we call our ego.

The first force we must cooperate with is the grounding force – we must root before we can sprout.  This means yielding.  We must learn to yield our body weight into the points of contac we have with the floor.  We must learn to yield the stubborn will of our egoic structure by coming into total presence- experiencing the moment as if from the very cells of our bodies.  Only in this way will the tensions knotted into our muscles by years of egoic striving begin to soften.

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In Warrior II, for example,  this yielding means relying on the bones of the  legs for support.  This “bi-pod” of strength draws support directly from the  earth, and allows the upper body to yield it’s characteristic tensions from the  brow, jaw, shoulders and ribcage.  Yielding to the downward pull of gravity we come to trust the earth, and our roots.  Only then can we come to experience the  upward moving force acting on the spine.  Until we yield our tensions, a false up-“tight” force is what holds us, not the natural, soft uprising of a spine sprouting from it’s deep roots.   This gentle upward moving force is not rigid,  it is fluid and can be supported by the engagement of the deep core body.  Lifting the pelvic floor and engaging the low belly in and up slightly energetically propels this force to the crown.  Two forces suspend this pose – can you find yourself dwelling at their balance point?

Once the core is engaged in Warrior II we have gathered our attention, energy and blood flow in the deep center of gravity.  To balance this inward moving force we expand through the 6 points of our
periphery:  the crown, hands, tail, and feet.   Drawing inward and expanding outward, begin to feel the place where the two forces are equal and be suspended there.

Feeling the grounding and rising, inward moving and expanding forces can you let go of all that you think you are and become this play of forces?  As you become sensitive to these you will become sensitive to the myriad of other forces working in you – the movement of the breath and emotions, the electrical flow of thoughts, the deep stirring of your soul.  Let go of your identity and feel the inner current of life moving, heaving, tingling – ushering you moment by moment closer to your One True Self.