THE BEST STRETCH!

Posted by on December 3, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on THE BEST STRETCH!

The source of the picture is wikiHow

The source of the picture is wikiHow

Asana or posture practice is the third in the eight limbs of yoga. Through the practice of postures one tries to cross the limitation of this physical body by travelling inwards to the subtle layers of breath and mind. Postures involve movement and stretching of this body in different directions. The ease of doing a posture is directly proportional to the extent to which the body can stretch. What can probably prevent the body from stretching? Is it merely a question of flexibility? Let us explore.

The yogic philosophy establishes a clear relationship between the mind, body and breath such that any changes happening in one tend to automatically show in the other two as well. Thus, any kind of unfavorable thought, emotion or incident impacts the body also as much as it does the mind. Not only does it create a blockage at energy level but also at the physical level and hence lack of stretch in the body. Of course other direct influences like unhealthy food habits, lack of exercises also contribute to it.

Working on the physical body to produce stretch especially using pressure, strain and force might yield some results but there will be no quality in it. The reason being that that stretch will not build the strength of the whole body; there will be gaps and loopholes.

The yogic stretch is a little different. Yes, yogic stretch. The best stretch can be produced when all the body parts contribute to that stretch equally and participate in it equally. It does not matter if you are stretching your hand or just bending forward, it is never only one body part in isolation that is worked upon. All the cells contribute to it. This involvement of each and every body part in the stretch builds up the strength of the body as a whole and gradually leads to greater elasticity in the body. Of course this can happen only with complete awareness.

And what about the body-mind connection? Due to the connect between the body and the mind it so happens that when the whole body is stretched as one, the partial perception of the mind due to the limitation of the senses is challenged. The conditionings of the mind that arise due to this limited view are broken and the blockages cleared.

This yogic stretch works through the body to the mind. It bends not just the body but also the mind and that is indeed the best stretch.

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Sri. Vijay Gopala is recognized as a Senior Yoga Teacher (SYT) with Yoga Alliance Professionals (YAP). This accreditation demonstrates excellent standards as set by YAP.

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