Resolutions, revolving.

baddhatriko - Copy I've talked already about the new year, about resolutions and change. There is a difference.

Resolution has something to do with appearances and surfaces.

Change is different.  Change runs deep.  Change is more about revolution than resolution and appearances and superficiality.  While many of us are comfortable spouting off resolutions, far fewer of us are actually willing or able to accomplish change.  The difference, I think, lies in resolving and wishing the world (ahem, other people) to be different or see us differently or changing our own damned selves.  Revolution, from inside.  Change is realization that nothing much has changed, ever.  That world is the same world, the relationships the same, the chemical compositions of our comfort foods are the same.  Change acknowledges, sometimes grudgingly, how little we can actually change: not other people, certainly.  Not physics.  Not the way things are.  But feel what an hour, a few simple movements can do, at the end of your next yoga class.  Notice how nothing has changed, but self; and in this change, everything is different.

Things do not change, said Thoreau.  We do.parvi

compass - Copy

One of the great metaphors reflected inasana practice is that of spiritual evolution. Webster’s dictionary defines evolution as “a process of continuous change from a lower or simpler to a higher, more complex, or better state”.  Simply put, evolution means growth.

And growth is rarely a linear process.

Thus, pavritta.  To twist. To evolve.  Websters suggests evolution is “a process of continuous change from a lower or simpler to a higher, more complex, or better state”.

You've heard this in class: pavritta trikonasana, pavritta parsvotonoasana.  Maybe, if the teacher is bold, pavritta paschimotanasana.

They are a classification of poses: they are twists.  They are complex.  They are subtle.  They are among the most heat producing and detoxifying of asana.  They are among the more discomfiting and challenging.

As growth is.

In order to create this movement in the body, we need to stabilize the foundation, extend or elongate the axis, and finally to actively revolve or move around this axis.

In most standing twisting poses, the foundation consists of the pelvis and the legs.

These poses require that we root powerfully through the legs and feet, and harness the core’s support.

Then we channel this energy into the spine and allow the spiral energy to be expressed through the torso.  The arms, the eyes, the hands.  The very breath, spun in widening circles.

pashasanaThey demand flexibility, strength, and the ability to balance while engaging complementary opposing forces.

Learn this, and new years resolutions become pale and flimsy things.  Revolution is much more impressive.

This is what we will do this week: evolve.  In downdog, in triangle.  In standing forward fold and seated forward fold.  To sundial, to bird of paradise.  Pasasana. To find our own spine and make it longer.

Root powerfully, and harness the core's strength.  Spill it.