An intelligent yoga practice encompasses both internal and external alignment. Internally, the practice is used to measure yourself using the fits of your body to participate in the health of your organs and glands. Each posture is used to give measurable results. This is about cleaning and reorganizing your internal world so that it becomes a joy to live in the body.
Every house gets disorganized and your body houses your soul and spirit. The internal practice trains you so that when you go into the world you have techniques to be at your best. Aligning your external circumstances is to position yourself in the centre of time and space, perceiving what is going on outside. We contact the world with our senses: perceiving the angles, hearing the information, sniffing out the situation, contacting the world to create portals of communication, and tasting what is about to be taken in and deciding whether to spit it out or take it down. These are the first powers of yoga. Your senses help you to sensibly and efficiently go about your daily routine with more joy. You use the practice to transcend your personal narrative.
Alignment to the seasons is a great way to participate in Nature’s external alchemy. Spring rises up the front of the body as if the sprouts of spring were ascending up to the heavens. The organ to play with in the spring is your liver, your vision. Opening up the thighs, lungs, liver and eyes transforms how you perceive the world, changing the angle in which you are accustomed to. Summer is for the heart, one’s speech and the ability to articulate what makes your heart sing. Summer is when you ripen your backbends, as summer ripens over top of the head when the sun is high. Autumn descends down your back, reflecting the memories of spring. This is the time when you do your pranayama practices, pulling in the minerals of the atmosphere, using your nose and thyroid to filter, ventilate, and extract this cosmic dust. Finally, winter goes deep, substantiating your perineum, establishing a dialogue of moving your waters, folding into yourself, gaining insights from the experiences of summer. You close off your hearing to the external to contact the internal. You go in to become concentrated so that when you go out, you are radiant.
Drawing by Kat Villain.
Up next in this series: Ascending Visions of Spring