midline - yoga

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I’d another weekend of teacher training at the beginning of the brand-new year, and on top of all the challenging and inspiring information that I received, something from our anatomy module is what stood out to me, far and beyond the rest. It was on Saturday afternoon, toward completion of our eight-hour day, and a difficult time to sit and talk about the complexities of the human body. Nevertheless, among the very first pieces of information that my instructor, Christina Offer, shown us remained with me. She stated that during fetal development in utero, the spine is the first thing to form: a sheet of cells on the back of the embryo folds in the middle to form a tube, which becomes the infant’s spinal cord.

This was interesting to me for a couple of reasons. If you’ve actually been in a few public yoga courses, you may have heard the energetic cue to ‘hug towards the midline.’ Coined by John Pal, founder of Anusara Yoga (and now Sridaiva Yoga), and meant to grow muscular energy by accessing the strength of your core energy to support a present from within, rather than merely replying on the outermost muscles to hold the pose.

I like to explain it to my classes like this: envision there’s an energetic line drawn from the crown of your head all the way down in between your heels, as if the spinal cord were extended from visit floor. This energetic hint is meant to tone the inner muscles to support the more fragile and often over-stretched parts of the anatomy, like the hips, hamstrings and back. The midline serve as our foundation, then, producing a steady and firm foundation on which to construct each asana, or posture.

There are numerous ways to draw toward the midline in our physical bodies during asana practice. Take a standing position like Tadasana (Mountain Pose), for example. Standing at the top of your mat, spread your toes large then plant them firmly to your mat. Hug shins and thighs in toward your midline, hug heels energetically toward hips, and press your knees (lifting your knees by engaging your quadricep muscles). Your belly button hugs toward your spinal column, engaging your reduced belly (or uddiyana bandha). Move your shoulder blades together on to your back, and then from there you can confidently shine energy from your heart, the crown of your head, and all 10 of your fingertips.

However, practicing asana is just the idea of the yoga iceberg. Once we begin to open the energetic obstructions in our physical body, we get in a state of receptivity from which we can start to learn and grow.

Just like the energetic midline holds area for our muscle energy to support the more delicate parts of our physical bodies, drawing closer to our center in difficult times help us to support ourselves and make us more powerful from the inside, out.

One means that I exercise drawing to the midline, not physically, but intellectually, mentally, and spiritually, is by journaling. When you begin to open your body through the practice of asana, the energy begins to stream, and you open yourself around the emotions and experiences that can come putting out of your body, right out in to the open. If you are not prepared to deal with whatever turns up during your practice, it can get messy. Journaling permits a means to take all of that energy, all of those thoughts and feelings, and have a place to put them.

Think of it by doing this – if you’ve sort of a small house like I do, area can get littered rather quickly. If you get home from work every day, toss your pair of shoes off to the side, throw your jacket and your bag on the floor, and afterwards you remain to duplicate this process with various products every day for a few days, your area is getting littered – rapidly! If there is not really a certain place for your belongings to be placed every day when you get home from work, then you’ve no way to efficiently take care of them, and then exactly what takes place? The mess comes crashing down around you. Noise familiar?

If we continue our asana practice, releasing all our previous injures, present regrets and disappointments, however don’t create any method to take care of exactly what shows up for us from inside, we are producing an upcoming implosion of epic proportions. Write in a journal after course, meditate, or talk with someone you enjoy and can trust. Hug back to your center. Learn what’s essential to you, and afterwards stay with it! Hold firm. Be strong. The whole light of deep space shines from within you.