It Ain't what you “Think”
Movement Habits are Cataracts to our rich spontaneous movement, fogging the clear awareness of a sensorially healthy neuromuscular system that operates "from" our Core out. Habits get created when a movement is pushed beyond (in speed or pressure) what our skill or muscular development can handle. They create stress in joints and muscles that we often choose to not listen to. And so, like Sensory Cataracts, they begin desensitizing our felt sense into a tool that Drains our Body Awareness capacity. If ignored and repeated, habits accumulate to eventually kill off the sensory aspect of our neuromuscular system and so render our Core, the seat of our inner awareness blind and useless. This Physical “Sentience '' of our healthy organizm, is a problem for a careless, externally focused Ego. So Ego ignores and maybe ab-uses this living process of it’s very own body to get what it Wants, in the world. If beaten into submission by this “Addictive” level of Ego’s Goal Orientation, our unconscious Chitta Vrittis have taken over, our innate human sentience drains empty, and experientially dead, we gradually turn into Bloodless Scholars with bodies like rocks.
These mind habits (Thoughts) can be observed so they don’t just addictively come out of our mouths (Words) which can also be observed so they don’t addictively come out as actions (Deeds) that deaden our bodies sensitivity and also accumulate in our Body’s Structural Cataract Collection called Stiffness. So… Observing the psycho emotional Chitta Vritti content is the primary goal of any Mind/Body practice that will allow reorganization at the other more external levels that even the Bible mentions. (Om Namah Shivaya ;-)
But observing the tornado of the mind with the mind is like a balloon observing clouds. Anchoring it to earth through the body, there’s more nirodha to observe and work with than just floating thoughts bouncing off floating thoughts. Our body is solid, something we can get our hands on to Feed and Tune our Inner Awareness (the No Hands, Proprioceptive and Kinesthetic kind) that give the mind the anchor to ground the Vrittis into some Reflective Nirodha. Only Body can feel gravity, that felt sense gathers your extrinsic limb dance (All mind directed) back into the deepest parts of your structure, reconnecting us to our rhythm with the rhythm of earth. The mind and emotions Can then follow, and we can begin to gather Ojas. Only then, might this beautiful Ashtanga practice slide us through the knots that bind us in our Ego’s Goals… Pasasan, Kapotasana, Catching. And all that’s needed to get back into your lost body, your atrophied fascial antennae, is to find a good practice and “Just Show Up”.
Now, if your stiff body feels hard enough to start reorganizing, riding on top of the body is another knot to work with. Your jaw and voice box and the extrinsic verbal habits of talking. If this mental manifesting has no reflective check point so is merely a poor habitual slave to your Ego, it will abuse your precious breathing process and this Hyper-Vata will burn lots of Ojas, and, it will probably blow right by the next checkpoint and abuse your movement. (That Bible Trinity again ;-) So, instead of just blindly spewing Ojas right out your flapping jaw, Body centered practices create a Nirodhah of the Ojas burning mind stream. Then gradually, through your smoother web of connective tissue, cleaner, centered and more powerful energy and movement can flow.
Because integrated body movement of a well tuned fascial antenna resonates with different energy vibrations than a twisted antenna layered with cataracts do. And Awareness is what flows through the antenna. So why not just focus on the body, and as the Vedas say, untie the knots of Brahma and Vishnu? Because when smoother movement awareness allows smoother emotions and nirodha allows smoother breath, we gather Prana, and cutivate Ojas? Because even the most Inspiring discursive blah blah is “Out of the Moment”. And if its excessive Blah blah, their words are not impeccable, it’s truly just Vata Derangement, chitta vrittis vomiting out the mouth of a cheap ungrounded antenna, But maybe attracting other Vata Deranged Yogis that will pay you money to fool them, like you do yourself, how Spiritual they are. Your mind’s usual macheavelianesque ways of craving and denial still cunningly pat you on the back for how much Spiritual Materialism (but not in your mind ;-) your mouth mesmerizes workshops with. Yet again, your dynamic personality simply regurgitating great teachings to raise your SM status. All OK because “You're a Guru Now…. right? Or maybe you’re more the Enthusiasm Materialist Cheerleader or a Compassion Materialist Babysitter, the atrophied roots are the same. (Another article for much later :-)
So let’s just get to work in the Non Verbal realm, the awareness where these Yoga facades have no power, learning the sensory language that our twisted antennae of fascia has been literally dying for, and explore how to use Ashtanga Yoga to create a “Smooth Body” (Thank you Guruji) an antenna that absorbs and gives off evolved frequencies that people will feel way more than the words we speak.
Because these sensorial roots of awareness, the deepest and most subtle aspects of your core, actually extend beyond your feet, deep in with the earth, energetically connected with the field of Gravity, our sensitive core settling into all earth rhythms and drawing them up through your chakras, from the Root to the Crown of the Head (Thank You Richard). No matter how forcefully your Ego digs, your fingers and toes will never grasp that ethereal stability without the soles of your feet and palms of your hands spread firmly and smoothly on the earth. Then breath begins filling you with Prana, and those Rajasic digits that dug you out of your Tamasic quicksand (Rajas is helpful at times) can settle into a greater Satvik depth of Brahma - Vishnu granthi unity, that might even elicit a fleeting experience of Rudra Granthi shining through a cracked eyelid.
So think of those cool looking asanas, blessed bodies tying themselves up, arms and legs wrapped snugly around sun soaked Yoga fashion in God’s country. Impossible for most of us, a peaceful smile of their stabilized inner workings of Core (or maybe just self torture for the selfy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ hidden behind a propped Hollywood smile?)..... This posible Core, that they NEVER Mention, muchless guide you to…. This Core is our birthright that just got lost and forgotten about somewhere along the way. And these Yoga Porn displays show us little if anything of how each of us can easily regain this ultimate physical awareness foundation of Who We Are, while instead might just distract us from it, more food for dissociating from our already suffering disembodiment.
All we really need is a little astute guidance from someone who hasn’t Spiritually Bypassed, but has actually been through some unblessed body struggle of rediscovery and transformation to see and show us the places where our ignorant body ab-use holds us back.
Also helpful is experience taking thousands through this process, seeing clearly (more experience) the structural foundation (or lack thereof) their students “walk in with” and where their Namaskaras choke or drain their potential for smooth flowing fascia and how best to guide them structurally towards that potential …… oh and, experienced understanding of when and where in primary their solid focus and tapas squeezes the juice of Deep emotions out, and with some SE skill guides and empowers them to wiggle thru these eruptions of old trauma to the other side of the grace and power they imprisoned since the emotionally derailing Events dug their claws in. (finally a paragraph sized sentence that feels real, right and somewhat legible)
So why is so much mesmerizing Yoga Porn, maybe accompanied by inspiring poetry, metaphor or philosophy polluting the Yoga world? Well 1, most blessed bodies never struggled (the personal experiential classroom) through stiff (unblessed) structure like us masses. Naturally moving through their innate core blessing (or not really and are doomed to self destruct some years down the road) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And 2, us masses hate the struggle (the personal experiential classroom) through stiff (unblessed) structure. This is a Match Made in Heaven. Most of the masses preferring an entertaining distraction (weather actions, words or both) and circus performers Needing to be noticed. Why bother with the hard work of Really finding your core, when no one can really See And Show you where or how Yours is struggling? Real Body Education, where you feel a relief and new motivation from new movement awareness works way faster than Only “practice and all is coming”. Like crawling out of a Cocoon you’ve been stuck in, your breath guides you more than just Crazy pushing on it every day. And you and find and explore that Edge between Lazy and Crazy in every breath you take, every move you make, every vow you bre…….. (Sorry, got lost in the music)
Some astute study of structural movement, how to use your hands to Guide student’s bodies directly (AKA Non Verbally) and well developed trauma therapeutics would Fill this experiential Gap well…. And, without this astute, experienced experiential support from your teacher, the emotional process arising that you can explore and reintegrate your lost core and psyche is just too scary to check out. So everyone shies away, students relieved knowing the support just isn't there, and teachers? dropping back into their favorite Babysitter, Cheerleader, Nazi or Guru script that their kind “Likey Likes” each other for, who probably had no significant person guide them through these enlightening emotional doorways constructively…... so they have no idea how to guide others. Fair enough, if you are really just not interested to find these significant people and explore these depths that define various perspectives of the Non Dual Path most eastern spiritual practices are fundamentally about, you should just stay where you are, a student. Ahhhhh, no need to FEED SM any Spiritual Bypassing fantasies anymore. “The I Am A Yoga Teacher” one is Huuuuge and FB’s algorithms were initially and specifically designed to support and cultivate. Then, you can do the real practice of sorting out the missing pieces of your "Grounding in Reality" potential (That Red Pill, Bramha Granthi thang) so you actually have some Depth down the Rabbit Hole to teach students and how to bring light to it. Because hiding the hole with beautiful landscaping, just Ain't Yoga.
Or, forget that boring grounding stuff, you can just follow your Ego with the various forms of Spiritual Narcissism that thrive in their very own consumeristic Yoga bubble called Ultra Spiritual, where “Enlightenment” gets abstracted by bloodless Scholars creating and riding dissociative waves in the toxic, reactivity ocean of SM that is ONLY concerned with empower itself……by capturing us.
The Ultimate False Guru of our day
So, any emotions coming up from the Spiritually Bypassed, Blessed Bodies thing? “Ahhh, Very Good…. Cleansing”. (Blessings again Guruji) Take a big breath or 2…. Maybe sit on that feeling a few minutes……….. Then let's just get something perfectly clear, right here and now. Our job as Ashtanga teachers is to teach the practice as “originally” designed as we can find. And we must also twist and shape it a bit to each student's strengths, weaknesses and samskaras. Like Guruji did (5 breath updogs anyone?) So, unless we’ve learned from a Krishnamacharya 25ish years then applied all his skills experimentally by teaching over 25ish years (when Nancy and David showed up) many challenged, and a few blessed bodies (anyone still got their hand up?), 3, sometimes only 2 years practice till Authorized, and and a few years of running an ashtanga program (All dedicated hard work for sure) does not magically elevate our “hands-on” skill set much beyond a Highschool diploma of “Ekam Inhale, dve Exhale”.
The most valuable foundation to build your ongoing “Body in Movement” know how, the Non Verbal depth of what it “feels” like to Breath a perfectly counted Led Primary, the bedrock that “Practice and All Is Coming” grows from….. And Way Beyond. Any one of them will be Way more valuable, to the world for sure, than…… how skillfully you Shake your SM Rattles?
More emotions coming up? Hope you take it as a wake up call and explore some of these perfect compliments to your admirable Ashtanga dedication. But if not, feel free to shoot the messenger. I’ve been shot at before.
Oh, and I promise, next post, I will finally get to Psoas. And it will be a very practical post.
Questions and comments in the FB post work best, see ya there.