Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thursday, Feb. 16: An Aware and Improving Life

What’s keeping us from be peaceful now? Often it is our minds, grinding away wanting something not here, not now, and we are lost to the present. How to come home?


Sensing gravity. What is under our feet, under our butt, how are we connected, as this moment to the Earth.

And that can bring peace? It’s a huge start. Start where we are, knowing where we are as we inhabit that space. We are in a body this time around, as they say, (and whatever that means), and since that’s the case, being aware of ourselves as physical beings brings a sense of calm to us. A sense of who we really are, these two legged, two armed, long spine creatures, the creatures of five lines. What if we could sense those five lines most of the time, if we knew where our arms and legs and spine was as we sat at our computers, or walked to the next room, or took a stroll on the bike path, or opened a door? I’m not speaking of “knowing” as an abstract operation, but as a concrete sensation: here are my arms, right now, here my legs, here my spine. Here they are and this is how they feel as real, and wonderful parts of me.

Yoga is pretty good for playing around with our five lines, if you can just find a teacher that doesn’t confuse it with calisthenics, and who doesn’t try to whip you into a shape that you really can’t reach quite yet. This is where Felden-Yoga™ comes to the rescue. Any shape and all shapes in F-Y are designed as chances to play around and explore what it’s like to be you, right now. Especially, what it’s like to be you as a person whose center is right down near the belly button, called hara in some systems, tantien in others. We breathe with the rotation of the pelvis in a lot of postures, and thus clarify our center, and get used to using the power of this core part of us. To say nothing of the joy of breathing with awareness.

And by moving within postures, instead of cramming ourselves into some solid, rigged state, we keep alive that characteristic of human beings which is one of our most valuable: our ability to move. What else is valuable? Our ability to think, and our ability to be aware, both of which are cultivated constantly in F-Y.

Sometimes in good yoga, awareness is heightened, but rarely are we given an opportunity to use our brains to really figure our things in a new way. When the Feldenkrais parts of F-Y are activated, we might be moving our heads left and our eyes right, or heads up and eyes down, or concentrating on breathing in as we arch the back and then concentrating of breathing out as we arch the back.

The goal isn’t to get things right. It’s to learn. Learning is fun. Here’s some differences between Feldenkrais and most body systems, and between Felden-Yoga™ and most yoga systems.

It’s a learning system , not about “fixing” you.

Awareness is what counts, not correctness.

The key is to improve moving, and from that posture, not looking at posture on its own.

Vitality is what’s improved, and strength can improve with that; but there isn’t an emphasis on getting “strong.”

Discovery and playfulness, not rules and regulations, make the process fun and the learning huge.

Comfort not calisthenics is how we keep from hurting ourselves, how we stay kind and peaceful in this moment.

These, indeed, are all traits of an aware and happy life. How cool is that?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home