As I said in the last blog, the theme for this week's classes is 'Forces of Nature'. My thoughts on this don't apparently agree with science! I looked up the term and found there are, in fact, only 4 Forces of Nature according to Stephen Hawking ( but not according to Issi Hyams!). As I don't have a PHD in Physics though, 3 of them were way beyond my reach of understanding, so this morning we worked with the one we all understand, Gravity - having fun with poses such as.....
Warrior 3 -
Virabhadrasana 3 >
(at the 'Bridge to Hogwarts'!)
< Big Toe Pose - Utthita Hasta
The Force of Gravity can feel very strong, pulling us downwards and making everything feel heavier.... but it doesn't have to be that way, it just depends on how you react to this weight.
So in class today, we tried to find how to distribute the weight of an outstretched arm by drawing back into the shoulder, of lifting a heavy head by using our tiny Hyoid bone under our tongue to extend the neck and by making the most of our abdominal core strength - not just at the front, but the 360degree strength of our core - to lift the limbs that 'hang' off it!
Gravity isn't a Force to fight against. It is Nature's way of holding us down and securing us to our world. It actually even helps us to live by forcing the breath into us! So work with it, taking your attention away from the dense, heavy feelings and finding what can lighten them. In today's class we also used Props, our Yoga bricks and straps and even a wall, to make everything easier on us. There is no reason to struggle and add to the weight. Use the support offered or go out there and look for it, it will make all the difference to how you feel. An interesting point that again was made by Stephen Hawking, is that as he said, "Gravity is the one Force that holds it all together, even though it is the weakest Force".....perhaps strength shouldn't be measured by what we are, but what we do?
The thing is that when you 'spread the load' and focus on points that can help to shift it, including of course the immense power of our Breath, as a great bi-product the 'weight' itself is almost forgotten!
Yoga is all about spreading the load!