01 Nov '12
Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw
MAKING SUKHA (GOOD SPACE) BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE BODY
In yoga we open up our body at many levels, not least at the subtle level, where yoga anatomy explains that the body is made of successively more subtle “bodies.”
These bodies (including our physical body) are called koshas and yoga leads us through movement and breath patterns that use the koshas, sort of like two sticks rubbing together, to mutually refine them.
The range of koshas are accessed by leveraging the physical body (the food body, or annamyokosha).
We can make the 5 successively more subtle koshas comb through one another. They are expanded, toned, and suffused with awareness through the employment of the various technologies of yoga: stillness, vinyasa, binds, balances, bendings, and the linking to breath–among many other modes.
All of these work to expand consciousness in a most practical way: we remove blockages and create inner flow, and consciousness more fully permeates the body.
We teach the body to feel and think at deeper and deeper levels.
Yoga as it is executed in most contexts, works with inner space, but there is another relationship that contributes to our understanding. It plays out in exterior space.
Most yoga practice patterns do not teach us how to partner with exterior space, i.e. make the space around us conscious. They do not teach us how to activate that space–to partner with it.
They do not teach us such a tantra–a weaving of inner and outer.
They do not consciously go beyond the body to find agreements, relationships, and possibilities that lie in the dialog between outer and inner space. They do not support a more profound weaving of sukha (good space) through both akam and puram–what is inner and what is outer.
Conscious attention to inner and outer space, and exercises that expand our consciousness in both realms while working wisely with the koshas can do this. The result is a more integrated and expansive awareness, and a greater understanding of the bodymind’s relationship to movement.