Your Inner Allies

Yoga is so old school, so simple, so low tech and yet still so FASCINATING and EFFECTIVE.

alliesIt’s super fair and accessible to all. You don’t need ANYTHING.
No equipment.
No shoes.
No props.
No fancy clothes.
No particular body type.
No experience.
No natural talent.

You already have within you TREMENDOUS ALLIES. Used well, they create skill, healing, wisdom, connection and meditation.

There are seven allies in all.

The FIRST FIVE are critical for all, especially beginners.

In each stage of each pose…and in each transition…use these tools to reveal what the practice is teaching you.

  1. Foundation. Where is your body touching the earth? Make that connection STRONGER. PUSH against the floor. Broaden, deepen, sink.
  2. Spine. How can you make the shape of your spine brighter, clearer, stronger, more energetic? Is it bending, stretching, or twisting? Some combination thereof?Persuade your whole spine to participate. No sleepy spots. No lazy spots. No dark spots. Illuminate the central axis of your body.
  3. Grip/tourniquet. Wherever one body part is touching another, increase the pressure. Make it a SEAL, a TOURNIQUET. No room for light or air. Instead of avoiding intensity, dive into it! There is therapy and learning in the intensity.
  4. Breath. Breathe fully, normally, without inhibition, according to the posture. Let every single cell be saturated with oxygen. Each breath will be different–some dramatically, some subtly–depending on the shape you are creating in a particular asana.
  5. Gaze. When you fix your eyes, you calm your mind. When you calm your mind, your breath becomes steady. Your movement becomes fluid, confident, streamlined. You move through your practice with animal-like grace and ease.

unitethesevenWithout allies number SIX and SEVEN, a student will not progress beyond the beginning stages. To become an intermediate student—and eventually an advanced one–these last two are mandatory.

6. Devotion. You absolutely have to be willing and committed to working hard, with great consistency and effort over a prolonged period of time.

‘This is not a six-week program to boffo biceps’, as Chris Fluck says.

It’s six days a week for sixty years. Work so hard and with such high ideals that your goals are almost impossible to achieve. This is a proven path. Walk the path. Find pleasure in the monotony. Embrace it. Persuade yourself to love it, and if you don’t love it FAKE IT. Tremendous freedom, vitality and wisdom will be yours.

7. Research. Each moment, each movement, each breath merits attention and curiosity. Move decisively, with courage and awareness. Scrape away any hesitation.

Patthabi Jois is famous for declaring, ‘NO FEARING! YOU GO!’

Listen carefully. Ask questions.  Your BYCF teachers all have extensive experience and qualifications. They use specific language to help you identify and achieve the conditions of each asana. But remember, ‘the map is not the territory!’ No matter how specific the spoken instructions, you haven’t really learned it until you’ve felt it. This is experiential learning. Find new sensation.

If you’re in a rut, add some variety. We offer several healing modalities, and each is based on a proven, tested and rigorous tradition (e.g. ballet, pilates). Try Strength & Flow, Barre or Pilates. Avoid gimmicks, trends and untested teachers. (There is no silver bullet, and there are no secret short cuts.)

And then come back to your traditional 90-minute six-days-a-week yoga practice.

There is so much possibility here! So much healing, so much joy, so much freedom!

Source: David Garrigues

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