Thursday, September 29, 2005

yoga = cushion

I'm not sure where I've heard this translation before. The most notable translation is union, then seat, and I guess that seat could be modified into cushion. I'll have to look into it today to get a proper reference. Regardless, I brought this "cushion" translation up in my Twilight class last night. This came up during our discussion of Asana and Pranayama in my ongoing presentation on Patanjali's eight limbs.

I explained the idea behind relaxing into the "seat" of an asana and that started me thinking about this cushion concept and that the seat could actually be quite warm and fuzzy. I elected to try this out at my mysore session at Matthew's this morning. I really brought it to mind as Matthew was adjusting me into Supta Kurmasana. The thought process and my body's reactions went something like this: (I'm paraphrasing Matthew here, btw)

Matthew: "release your heals"
my thought: "ok, focus on the breath and bandhas"
my body: legs straighten slightly, toes begin to point towards the ceiling
my thought: "I really shouldn't be doing this asana"
Matthew begins moving my heals together toward my crown
my body: tension is building despite the control of the breath
Matthew: "move your hands back to take the bind"
my thought: "ok, focus on breath and find that fuzzy cushion"
my body: releases a great deal of tension, I become malleable yet strong.
Matthew moves my shoulders underneath my knees and assists with the bind
my thought: "fuzzy cushion, fuzzy cushion, fuzzy cushion"
my body releases more, my back straightens on the inhale and I relax further on the exhale finding Supta K. (like this)
Matthew tells me to release the bind of my hands and lifts me up to my sit bones on the inhale.
my body exhales the hands to the mat, inhales up balancing on the hands, my feet bound behind my head (like this)
my thought: "fuzzy cushion fuzzy cushion fuzzy cushion"
my feet release the bind and my legs come down to my upper arms as I move back towards bakasana.

Of course, I then fell out of Bakasana, but hey... it's only been a week with Supta K!

So, my attempt here was too keep focus on the breath and the bandhas while using a mental projection of softness to relax the muscles and it seemed to work. Just using the mantra of "fuzzy cushion" worked as a trigger for this relaxation. It's pop psychology / NLP slight of hand, but hey, whatever works is my motto at this point.


pranajockey said...

asan or asana is more correctly understood as seat. check out the online monier-williams sanskrit-english dictionary.



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