Pranayama VII

TORTURE OR RELIEF?

Children don’t usually do stretching. But they do stretch when they wake up and when they start to be tired. Animals stretch equally after sleep or when they feel good.  Both children and animals are flexible and both move according to their energy waves. Their stretches are light and still full of intensity. Why do adults lose this flexibility and elasticity? Why do we not stretch naturally like other creatures? Instead, we need to go to stretching classes. I guess it’s because we lose the contact with our prana.

There are of course several reasons why we lose this contact: We sit too much and get too little natural motion. We eat food that stuck the energy in the whole system. We don’t sleep enough. We think too much. We don’t care about the messages from inside or can’t even here them anymore as we are mostly outward bound. We don’t breathe freely.

STIFF BODIES

There’s a reason why there’s stiffness in a human body. The tense muscles are like an armor to protect something inside and to stop this something from  moving. Usually it’s an unconscious tension, a control you can’t just get rid of. No matter how much you stretch, the tension persists and the body remains the same. If you want to become flexible and have healthy muscles, you need to work differently. You need to listen to what’s behind the stiffness and tension. Once the body releases the tension, the muscles can relax and the stiffness is gone. For good.

If your body is constantly contracted, there might be something left in the system you can work on in your yoga practice. The attention that is needed, is the consciousness and openness towards the energy you are not in connection with yet. Once you really get tuned to the pranic level, you will be one with whatever there is inside of you and you will understand. Once you understand, it means you become conscious of how your life energy was stuck and you change. The problem that comes to light is not a problem anymore. There’s a distance between the problem and you.

Yoga is not gymnastics, nor a sport, but growing consciousness in the body and vital energy. It’s about understanding of the dialogue between many different layers in you. Here we talk about the prana and the physical body. Life wants always to get through. So if you are more connected to your prana than to the problems on the physical level, you will open a door to your energy. You can’t force it. You can just watch. The free prana will make your body free.

OVER-FLEXIBLE BODIES

There are also very soft people who don’t have any difficulties in stretching their muscles or opening the body. They might have another kind of problem.  The muscles don’t contract enough and don’t therefore give enough resistance to movements or postures. If it’s about hypermobility of joints, some muscles are not doing their work properly. The body is partly lazy. Behind the lazy body, there could be some kind of depression, apathy or unconsciousness. Lack of control or lack of will to control.

HEALTHY BODIES

When we walk, our muscles do their work without being commanded. When we start to run, we don’t have to think what to do with our muscles. We climb a wall or a mountain, our muscles “think” for themselves. They do their normal work and adapt to any situation – no thoughts needed. The way the muscle usually behaves  in a healthy body is that it expands and contracts according to the situation.  Both qualities are important. The muscles lengthen and stretch when we inhale and they contract more or less when we exhale.

STRETCHING

If you pull your muscles with strength, they can become longer for a moment.  Bad things can happen too. Or nothing happens at all. If you pull a muscle at its maximum length and you keep going, you risk to tear the muscle from its bone. Don’t stretch too much. Don’t do more than your energy is able to do. If you can’t breathe with ease, you’re not on the right track.

This doesn’t mean you’re not working. The work can be very exhaustive on this level too, because you really work with all your own obstacles and you try to give a new direction to your reactions. If you do an intelligent work with your prana, your body will follow. To do an intelligent work, you need energy too.

If you’re stuck, it means that your body is stuck. If your body is stuck, your emotions are stuck and the stretching doesn’t help. There’s a problem in a deeper layer and you should work that out. It’s normal you feel stretching could help, but it does only momentarily. The stiffness comes back as soon as you stop.

Some people have been stretching their bodies year after year (in yoga) and  they are still stiff. Something is going to the right direction.

YOGA

The unconscious mind reflects the problem on the physical level. We ourselves can’t usually see it, because we are unconscious.

What happens in the asana practice, is that you do things with your breathing and body and you try to achieve a balance in this work. It’s all you need. If your muscles work in a harmonious way, the practice is a kind of  maintenance of the system. If your body is not too strained, you go forward , i.e. find the balance in more complex asanas. The asana practice is not a torture, if you don’t want it to be like that.

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4 thoughts on “Pranayama VII

  1. Varjot, joita lapsena
    ei ole, ilmestyvät
    myöhemmin kiristämään meitä,
    syyt ja seuraukset
    eivät tule esiin
    nätisti, vaan yllättäen
    kuin sinappi pullosta
    ja kun harjoitus ravistaa
    pulloa, pusertaa hiukan,
    alamme kasvaa
    hengityksenä kehossa, taivumme.

    • Risto hyvä, mitenköhän näin kaunis ja koskettava kommentti on aikanaan voinut mennä minun ohitseni! Nyt luin sen, kun postaukseen tuli toinen kommentti.

      Kiitos. Upeasti näet ja ilmaiset sen mitä näet!

  2. Tes posts sur le pranayama sont très forts et très beaux. C’est le prana qui distingue le yoga de la gym. Malheureusement les belles photos sur les réseaux sociaux n’expriment pas tout cet espace intérieur qu’apporte le yoga. Je sens de plus en plus les ouvertures et les points de déclenchement dans mon corps au fur et à mesure que je me détache de l’effort. Ce n’est pas facile de laisser aller ces anciens réflexes et de se sentir qu’on peut “faire” en toute sécurité. Peut être qu’on n’insiste pas assez sur la respiration, sur la profondeur de celle-ci et sur ce qu’elle apporte …

    • Chère Caro,

      oui, je suis entièrement d’accord avec toi. c’est la connexion avec le prana qui fait la différence! et combien de photos et de pratiques sont faites sans cette dimension!

      je pense que c’est exactement ce que tu dis, que quand on se détache de l’effort, on trouve plus d’espace, on respire mieux, on est plus connectés à la vie.

      c’était marrant de lire ton commentaire au moment où j’avais publié un post sur le prana. 😀 merci!

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