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 Asanas - Postures and Physical Culture
 Can asanas help mitigate energy flow?
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Lacinato

USA
98 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2009 :  2:41:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lacinato's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I have a tendency towards automatic yoga--I now realize I did even before I started AYP. This is not so great because my inner silence is low and I am very sensitive. It means I have far to go (to experience any decent degree of inner silence) but have to be very careful to pace myself.

So--will asanas help with this? Or is it like the other practices, in that it might bring up too much energy? I don't *have* to do automatic yoga, I can stop it, but then it manifests as tension throughout my body. Hard cardio like running helps disperse the energy, but because I get so tense, running can be painful... anyway, asanas sound like the answer but I don't want to risk overdoing it (which I have in the past; very unpleasant).

miguel

Spain
1197 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2009 :  3:26:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Im also wondering my self about this, lacinato.Maybe it can help sensitive meditators.

Edited by - miguel on Apr 17 2009 3:27:36 PM
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emc

2072 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2009 :  5:54:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Lacinato,

It is said in the AYP lessons that regular asanas may smooth out automatic yoga. From reading posts in forum I have understood that it has helped many to diminish the automatic movements over time. I guess it's worth a try!

For me, though, it has been difficult to get into any regular practices of asanas since they boost the energies faaar too much to be pleasant, as you say. Self-pacing has meant staying very, very restricted on asanas, which is a pity, cause I really enjoy doing them, but I always end up in turmoil after only a few days of very light asanas (5-10 min).

Since automatic yoga is said to occur in the beginning of our journey due to blockages and friction in the system when Shakti starts moving, and I'm still full of it, I just have to accept that I probably have a long way to go before these movements will stop. I sense quite a lot of stillness, though, and the more centered and still I get, the more movements occur automatically... so I don't really get this at all. It's very paradoxical. I just relax into the movements and say "Be thy will" and hope It knows what it's doing. (If there's people around I warn them and tell them to throw something hard on me if I become a pain i the xxx and cause them any inconvenience.)

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Lacinato

USA
98 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2009 :  7:32:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lacinato's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you! I will try, but proceed with caution and do asanas that feel really grounding. I tried reintroducing pranayama this week and it was very bad--I got extremely anxious and ended up consciously binge eating down the energy, because it was all I could think to do. I also often feel better after doing automatic yoga, like I released a lot of tension. I just want to be careful.

Miguel, I related to what you said on the other post. It is hard to be so sensitive! I used to think I was insensitive, and that sensitivity would be great. I guess it is what it is. I'm glad I at least have a practice that works while I live my life.

quote:
Originally posted by emc

Hi Lacinato,

It is said in the AYP lessons that regular asanas may smooth out automatic yoga. From reading posts in forum I have understood that it has helped many to diminish the automatic movements over time. I guess it's worth a try!

For me, though, it has been difficult to get into any regular practices of asanas since they boost the energies faaar too much to be pleasant, as you say. Self-pacing has meant staying very, very restricted on asanas, which is a pity, cause I really enjoy doing them, but I always end up in turmoil after only a few days of very light asanas (5-10 min).

Since automatic yoga is said to occur in the beginning of our journey due to blockages and friction in the system when Shakti starts moving, and I'm still full of it, I just have to accept that I probably have a long way to go before these movements will stop. I sense quite a lot of stillness, though, and the more centered and still I get, the more movements occur automatically... so I don't really get this at all. It's very paradoxical. I just relax into the movements and say "Be thy will" and hope It knows what it's doing. (If there's people around I warn them and tell them to throw something hard on me if I become a pain i the xxx and cause them any inconvenience.)



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Konchok Ísel Dorje

USA
545 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2009 :  7:55:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Konchok Ísel Dorje's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes. Hatha is a very nice way to alleviate excess energy.
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markern

Norway
171 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2009 :  08:47:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit markern's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
It all depends on what asanas you do. If you do a sequence that is grounding enough and well balanced you can ad 4 hours of asana a day without problems. If you do something that is not so balanced 15 min a day can create problems of excess. Standing poses are in general grounding.

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emc

2072 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2009 :  12:42:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
markern, could you be more specific and mention a few of the MOST grounding positions. I'd like to try them. The standing straight position with hands together in namaste above the head (mountain pose) for example blows me off to the crown and further quite immeditately... add back bend to that, and the kundalini goes wild in the spine... Back bends in general are among the most energizing.

I'd be very grateful for some specific grounding positions!
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markern

Norway
171 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2009 :  2:48:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit markern's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I am not an expert on this at all. I just know that most standing poses are supposed to be grounding and that I feel that they are. I can`t realy say anyone feels like they realy stick out as very grounding.

To me Tadasana is grounding when I focus on the correct alignemnt in the pose otherwise it just reinforces my ungrounded energy pattern. Actualy tadasana done with detalied attention to alignement should give a perfect balance between upward and downward flowing energies. But it certainly does not have the powerfull downward pull like you have in some qigong stances. I would google grounding asanas and look for what I find, I am sure there is plenty.

Lately I have been in contact with Santiago one of the KAP instructors about help with grounding because I have problems with too much energy in my head that gets worse with meditation. The results of following his advice has been very good.

I was told to stand in a very wide horse stance/shoulin pose and breath from the tailbone down to the earth and from the legs and bottom of the feet into the earth and imagine I have roots going deep into the earth for 10-15 min two times a day. THis works very well. There are also several other qigong poses that are very simple, that use wide stances and that are much more grounding than any asana. None of these produces any energy that should conflict with yoga but should just ground your energy and connect you to the earth.

Santiago also told be to do deep belly breathing for 10-15 min two times a day. This has been very important because before I would let the breath flow freely and observe it but something in my regular breathing pattern is so wrong that my normal breaths keep sending too much energy up. By gently but persistently breathing deep, deep into my lowest abdomen and perinium my breath gets corrected and each cycle of breath seems to send an equal amount of energy up and down.

The third part was doing the secret smile:

http://www.thetaobums.com/index.php...owtopic=9719

It is a much more powerfull verison of the inner smile. It works with moving awareness up and down the whole body wich is grounding but a lot of the importance he places on it I think is that powerfull energy creates less problems in a emotionaly healthy and happy person and that the gentle smiling quality balances out some of the not so good effects on the body from powerfull concentration practice. In Vipaasana they often use loving kindness partly for a similar purpose. You get softened by it in a good way.

I think as I get somewhere with these 3 things he will give me more powerfull grounding stuff.

In general I think yogis should go to qigong to find just a few realy grounding stances and possibly some other stuff to ground energy. KAP is in large part based on using powerfull grounding excersizes from qigong and other traditions combined with powerfull kundalini raising stuff. THe feedback from people doing it is that it is very powerfull and very grounded at the same time.

Even thouh AYP is very balanced compared to most other systems there is still a huge lack in my opinion with regards to grounding. People in AYP tend not be unbalanced but are often not realy grounded either. In KAP and many types of qigong people feel like they are sucked into the ground. I think AYP should work towards figuring out how to incorporate something to achieve the same effect.

Here is one breathing technique for grounding I found in a Bihar yoga book. I think it was called grounding your Udana breath. Breath down to the bottom of your spine and continue the breath down towards the soles of your feet. As your lungs are filled you hold the breath but let the energy and power from the breath continue down through the feet deep into the ground. Then as you start breathing out you let the energy rise slowly up through the ground and into the body as a steam or misty type of energy. When I say breath down to the bottom of the spins it is not like spinal breathing but more like a normal breath where you just aim it to go further down and sort of hit and bypass the spine.

A qigong technique:

Stand normaly with hands hanging on the side. Lift the heel of your right foot of the ground slowly while simultaniously lifting your right hand right hand and leaning a bit to the right. When both are lifted enough you start pusing the feet and hand down and imagine that the hand is pushing energy into the foot and into the ground and the foot pushing energy into the ground. As both stopp after reaching "bottom" you slowly starte lifting the left foot and hand and leaning a bit to the left and repeat wthe pushing down then start rising on the right side etc.

Mantak Chias Iron Shirt poses are superb for grounding. Iron shirt is only potentialy problematic if do the actual Iron shirt practice which means combining it with lots of bellows breath and then hitting the body repeatedly (not hard) to sort of beat in the chi and build a protective layer of chi around the organs and body. If you just stand in the poses they are extremmly grounding and should not create any problem but just solve them. THey build intense rooting power.

Going for long walks, doing physical labour and eating meat are grounding stuff to do but they are extreemly weak and slow compared to the poer of certain grounding and rooting excercises that are out here. It is way more efficient to use 5-10 min a day on something with real grounding power than all the long walks, cold showers and other grounding advice that that don`t have much power. Some of the lists people make with grounding advice are endlessly long but contain only stuff that works a little bit so you have to work your ass of to get grounded.

An other aproach is to do lots of pilates it structures the body realy well and centers you at and strengthens the body at the dan tien while working only physicly and not energeticly. That way it is both powerfull and safe. In general a "perfectly" aligned and structured body will have a correct flow of energy and be grounded. Iyengar yoga deals with this much better than any of the other styles I have encountered. Pertly beacuse the sequences are balanced and have more grounding stuff than other styles but mostly because the emphasis on precision and technique makes you get the last details on doing it right in place and that is actualy crucial for the flow of energy. Ungrounded people often get worse by doing yoga unless there is a lot of focus on technique. But sometimes the energetic problems are so strong that I think yo have to aprocah it with energetic solutions. Jim and his Karma has done Iyengar for many years and it was microcosmic related stuff that finaly did it.

Let me know how this stuff works out.
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riptiz

United Kingdom
741 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2009 :  3:29:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit riptiz's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi emc,
I would be very careful using Qi Gong stances. The stances may be fine but be aware not to use any of the opening techniques inadverdently.I refer to the raising of the heels as this will 'open the gates' and is specifically for this, causing energy flow.Also be aware to keep the armpits closed by bringing the arms tight in. Opening the elbows away from the body and therefore opening the armpits will also cause energy flow.If you look at a Qi gong practicioner making the chi ball you will plainly see the shape of the arms used to open the chi points up under the arms.I suggest low rooting stances,(be careful not to allow the knee to go out further than the lower vertical leg for safety)and focus on your energy going downwards using 'heavy hands'. This is a Tai Chi technique that I was taught when I trained in Aikido.Imagine all the underparts of your body being heavy as in, heavy under the chin,feet,ears,legs(if stood in a stance) etc.Hope this helps.Let us know.
L&L
Dave
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emc

2072 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2009 :  5:32:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Oh, thank you guys. Awesome tips! I'll try it out when I feel ungrounded.

It would be nice, though, to hear from a yogi if there actually are any specific grounding yoga asanas as well? The most grounding I've felt so far is the "corpse" pose (? don't recall the name), when you just lie on your back. But I'd find it hard to feel trustworthy saying: "I'm doing yoga asanas before my meditation" and then just lay down for the whole asanas session... haha!

What about those suggested by Yogani in his asanas program - which one of those postures would be most grounding and which ones would be most energizing?
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markern

Norway
171 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  05:30:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit markern's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Haven`t read Yoganis asana programe so wouldn`t know. Shoulderstand is very cooling although I would`t say grounding as you are up side down. There is a realy, realy good and advanced female Iyengar teacher in sweden. If you go to hear she should be able to make you a sequence or two that are grounding. If you want I can dig up her name.

You should ask Victor on this forum about asanas as he is an Iyengar teacher.

Touching the ground with your palms and letting energy flush out of them can mitigate excess energy momentarily.


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HathaTeacher

Sweden
382 Posts

Posted - May 02 2009 :  12:26:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Full contact of your foot/feet or hand/hands is grounding. Also, you can't hurt yourself too much in one-legged balancing postures compared to arm balances. This is true of both simple postures like garudasana (eagle) and trickier ones like ardha chandrasana (half moon) - falling from them doesn't hurt much.

The balance chakra = grounding chakra = leg chakra is the
Mouladhara, so having it close to the ground makes seated postures grounding, too: siddhasana, naukasana, paschimotasana, ubhaya padangustasana (upward-closed clasp knife) - assuming no big "rear seat airbag" :-) in the way.

In the advanced courses, inversions combine grouding with a gravity pull that helps the Kundalini up the Sushumna (that is, down towards the Earth).

Prasarita paduttana asana (wide-split downward bend) grounds both the lower body (you practice it with active legs, the setu bandha) and the Sahasrara - as soon as you start to place the top of the head on the ground.

Be inventive - your ability to feel the grounding can guide you into the most helpful asanas (the exact setup will of course change as you progress).

Summing up, physical activity from sports or gardening through to sexual tantric practices is grounding. Hatha asanas practiced with breath and relaxed concentration are very grounding.
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emc

2072 Posts

Posted - May 02 2009 :  1:17:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, thank you Hathateacher. Lots of interesting info there!

I don't agree with you, though on the tantric practices... If you take away "tantric" and say "sexual practices" I agree with you more!
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HathaTeacher

Sweden
382 Posts

Posted - May 10 2009 :  3:44:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
- you're welcome; and thank you for clarifying the difference between the male view (where removing "tantric" makes it grounding but rather depleting) and the female one.
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