Thursday, August 24th 2017

YOGA, PRANA, LOVE: Bend thyself, rewire thy core

Part 3 of a six-part series.


By RAQUEL TAVARES— Postures like this one, known as the Half Bound Western Intense Stretch, in essence rewire your energetic and physical anatomy. It triggers the flow of subtle energies that affect various Koshas and Chakras.

To understand the body’s energetic system, and how we can re-arrange it through yoga, I like to visualize the simple image of water flowing through a hose. The movement of the water is in itself an energy. If you block one end of the hose, the water changes directions. In a sense, the body works the same way: if you bind or tighten one end, you are releasing another.

In Ardha Baddha Paschimottanasana, the pose’s formal name, you’re binding several parts of the body: the hip flexor, the hand and foot and — as a result — releasing the shoulder, the gluteus and the abductor (the set of muscles that line the outside of your thighs). This posture looks basic but is seriously challenging: You bind your foot above your thigh and reach around your back and grab the foot; you then extend the opposite leg and fold foward.

The position of an intense fold puts these bound energies on a kind of internal clipboard, and redirects them to the head through the heart center. Energetically, you are working the first and second charkas, which govern survival emotions like fear and anger (1st Chakra at base of spine), as well as sexual instincts and social emotions (2nd Chakra in the pelvic area).

Don’t expect this pose to rewire your energetic circuits the first time you achieve it. This one calls for devotion, and through the love of yoga, you will find it.

NEXT: Prana, The Love Force

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