At some point something came into our consciousness that told us this yoga we do is hard, we need to suffer in the postures. We believe than in order to achieve anything there is a degree of self mollification. But yoga is not like this, in every moment that we practice we have the choice to be present and in the present there is no pain, no striving, no pushing, no forcing. Instead we can check ourselves constantly to see whether there is a holding, a forcing, a resistance to being present. Let that be your work.
Are you gritting your teeth in a pose? are you hunching your shoulders? contracting your chest? holding on to your hips for dear life? We hold so much memory in the body also that areas that were stressed long ago can be the cause of unnecessary tension today, through this process of self observation we let go of these old hurts and literally begin to heal ourselves.
I believe the greatest tool when it comes to practicing in a way that creates expansion rather than tension is our breath. If we stop and wait for our breath to arise all gifts arise with it. The body has a natural tendency to expand on the inhalation and to release on the exhalation, we gather up all tension in the body and let it go. So make sure you exhale completely, not a drop of air remains in the lungs, you are empty and open like the present moment itself.
Its called awareness really, this constant presence.
I shall be teaching a workshop on releasing tension from the mooladhara in order to begin to work with moola bandha on the 27th of November at Yard Yoga, Forest Row, 6-8p.m Do join me!