Keeping with this weeks’ theme of cultivating energy from our practice, it seems the discussion of freshness should come next. Have you become used to the practice you keep, and do you feel that it is sort of static or typical? Keeping a sense that the poses are fresh, and that your attention is sharp with each of the movements you do can help to raise more energy in the body and give you more benefits as you practice.
So how, when we are practicing, do we keep a sense of freshness to the poses? Notice the lines of energy moving from your center, out through the tips of the fingers, and out through the legs to the toes. Allow yourself to remain aware of the connection along all of the lines in the body. If it sounds like a challenge, a little difficult, no worries. Practice on the mat will show that this can be easier than expected, and after a few times of working with this focus, it can become easier to remain aware of the sensation of openness and alertness to all the lines in the body, and the exertion that you are applying.
It is important to remember that this sense of applying energy along the muscles of the body would be balanced with a sense of ease, joy, even comfort. It should feel good to you to put in this effort. Erich Schiffmann writes extensively about this concept in the seventh chapter of his book Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness. He reminds the reader to think of the morning stretch. A pleasant feelings should move through the whole body as you apply this force which is balanced with calm and comfort. If your body doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t quite right.
Move from watching yourself in a mirror or using the eyes to gauge how you are doing towards feeling the sensations in the body and the natural sense of joy that arises from finding out what you are capable of doing. This is naturally going to grow and develop into a sense of confidence as you continue to work. It is a natural state of being that you can tap through your practice on the mat.
Yoga Pose of the Day: Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose
Yogic Concept of the Day: How does it feel to apply a little more effort, balanced with comfort, as I stretch?