This blog includes reflections, creative work and resources. It is a glimpse of one person's journey within the realm of inquiry, experience with the human body and spirit. Look for ideas rather than answers. No claims are made. Perfection is not implied. I write as inspired to do so. Take what works for you, leave the rest. If you share anything from this blog, either verbally or in writing, please do your best to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Yoga As Preparation For Unplanned Meetings With Gravity

The kind of gravity alluded to here has nothing to do with jowls, thighs or the backs of arms.  Asana practice introduces the body to a variety of shapes with differing relationships to gravity.  With a gravitational mishap (i.e. a fall) is it a little less foreign for the nervous system to process if the body takes a similar shape on a somewhat regular basis?  Perhaps a small part of the system says, "Been there, done that."  Of course there's the additional muscle and joint preparation.  Many parts of the body become the primary ground to the floor depending on the pose: feet, hands, shoulder blades, head, sitting bones, etc.  The joints have practice bearing weight, the spine contorts creating a supple snake and muscle are strong & lengthened.

I've been horseback riding one to two times per week since August and have yet to fall off.  It will happen though.  In asana during inversions, wall work, OM Gym practice or even handstands and front flips in the pool I think about how the human body launches off equine creatures.  This may be the best preparation as I had asked the riding instructor if falling off a horse is something to practice and he replied that it's a nice notion but there's really no way to do so.  When it happens it just sort of happens.

When he was 64 my father fell off a ladder while trimming a tree.  Although the accident resulting in serious injuries he felt Airborne Division experience was a lifesaver in that muscle memory kicked in for the landing.  An ankle shattered as it is thought it absorbed the greatest impact.  It was later discovered his neck sustained a break but it could have been worse.  Maybe his theory of body preparation was correct.    

All this said, let's aim for yoga asana practice to improve balance so unplanned meetings with gravity are non-existent or less frequent!

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