from the gross to the subtle

A good yoga experience makes you remember to sit upright at your desk.  An alignment cue may come into your mind at any point throughout your day and remind you to exhale a little longer if you get het up in the supermarket queue, to sink your heels into the floor as you stir your cooking, or simply to get up and stretch when you get a chance. As your shoulders hike up to your ears at the first drop of rain, you notice yourself and let them drop. This sort of thing...

Yoga can transform you and yet from one yoga class to the next a lot of the good work seems to come undone. You arrive with your shoulders all bunched up again, with your hips in a tight, rigid mess, your chest constricted and all the worries in the world nagging in your inner ear. 

So how can we keep practicing yoga off the mat? I like to remember that this yoga we do is so much more than a physical practice, it is a form of mind training, bringing your awareness to everything you do. This sounds do-able but we need tools, we need tools to keep this awareness fresh. So that it doesn't simply become a concept, the concept of awareness. Another mental construct. 

I would like to offer up the practice of moola bandha as a way of bringing you back to the yoga practice in whatever situation you find yourself. As the most subtle practice of all, a shift of awareness is exactly what we're talking about here. Not so much the contraction of the entire structure of the hips, more the ever so subtle elevation of the perineum. A practice through which you can become embodied again. A practice which draws us away from this overactive mind and back into the body from where awareness can be truly cultivated. 

Seek out an experienced teacher and go forth to practice moola bandha.