why practice? part duuhheuxhhhhhhh

nama rupa has happened: the naming (nama) of form (rupa). well, and i’ll just roll this conversation along… please join in, in the form of you as me and me as you!

as in the study of anatomy that i love so much, things are named and identified as separate only to understand them better. there is something about relationship building, between parts and things and people, that ironically emerges from such understanding.

“Our naming of things in a way creates them. Our words reify, or ‘thingify’, reality. For the most part, this is of practical usefulness when we want to find our way about in our rather complex universe. However, it can be a handicap, because our words may set up barriers that block understanding and stifle love.”  – p.6, Georg Feuerstein’s The Yoga Tradition

i remember a discussion of pranayama once that was so simple and fascinating. pranayama surely cannot be translated easily to english. ahhhh, naming of things… then throw in a few hundred (or a few thousand?) languages, be that verbal languages. then there are one hundred or more other languages of somatics and senses and and and… pranayama is, in part, the practice of the art of breathing and directing the flow of life-energy where you want to expand, heal, grow…

why place control on the breath when seeking to breathe fully and freely? simple really. by limiting the breath into every possible nook and cranny inside your varied lung shapes and rhythms, you directly discover and open up your full range of breathing capacity. if you do not practice systematic restrictions of breath into each nook and cranny separately, you will be breathing, rest assured, but according to the habits of your life and stress and sleep and such. your signature breathing patterns are inherently established paths of ease and familiarity that have nothing to do with full spectrum breathing. please, test this out. if anyone, from the first rapid suck at birth and onward, has not ever created a self-limiting, though completely functional (at the time) breathing pattern, i laud you and i think you’re an alien or something…?

in my own response to the previous post, i’ve thought of dancing, cycling, swimming, gymnastics… these practices are all fabulous for the egomindbody mechanism, digestion, breath, the cardiovascular system, the psychoneuroimmuno-endocrine response, etc. (the earlier term “psychoneuroimmune” can’t be limited to those three body systems. like pandora’s box opening, such acknowledgement of co-creation and influence betwixt ‘parts’ of the one body snowballs. it’s still rolling, and space is still expanding for it to roll in to!)

so, now, what makes yoga asana different. i’m not sure. mindfulness? intention? lack of performative and competitive contexts? bikram yoga championships anyone? thoughts? are peoplebodymindego finalists in such competition expressing their gifts and talents in a gymnastics kinda way?

i think so. not sure… but… it’s beautiful to see anyone share what they are skilled in, and what brings them more alive. the  american dance festival and the olympics are inspiring to so many spectators. we get to see the potential of the same machination we live and breathe in every moment — the body. it is exhilarating to watch jumpers jump, leapers leap, and balancers balance!

i can only imagine, though, that in the context of competition, the focus is naturally different than say coming home to rest in the moving strong softening body after sleep, or a day at work, or injury repair… emotional or muscular…?

what about authentic movement, body-mind centering, continuum, feldenkrais, contemplative dance, alexander technique, pilates, gyrokinesis, gyrotonic, aikido, tai chi, other martial arts, and on and on… any practitioners out there, please discuss your pratice… why you do it…

“words ‘thingify’ reality.” what say you? speak. speak!


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