Practice, which some regard as a chore, should be approached as just about the most pleasant recreation ever devised. - Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Krista and I have been practicing the Mother Sequence, everyday, for the past 9 days. It's a combination of 12 sun salutes, the 5 Tibetan Rites (21 times each), 2 standing poses, 3 seated postures, 4 inversions, and 5 finishing poses.
When I first learned the sequence from Jehangir Palkhivala, memorizing the sequence and coordinating my breath and the movements, proved most difficult. As the movements became more graceful, my breath flowed in and out with more freedom. Recently, with body and breath moving synchronistically, it's become easier to affect my emotions while doing the sequence.
My body is responding, not only to the repetitious muscular movements, but to the positive emotions that I've come to associate with the sequence. Could it be that my muscles and joints don't resist the movements, because my mind looks forward to the once-a-day-sequence? The association is one of acceptance and joy. The gift of a single, repetitive practice.
As I was writing this, I was also watching a lecture by Bruce Lipton, a cellular biologist, entitled Conscious Parenting. He basically answered my question in this statement:
This new perspective of human biology does not view the body as just a mechanical device, but rather incorporates the role of a mind and spirit. This breakthrough in biology is fundamental in all healing for it recognizes that when we change our perception or beliefs we send totally different messages to our cells and reprogram their expression. The new-biology reveals why people can have spontaneous remissions or recover from injuries deemed to be permanent disabilities.
If any of you have a daily practice, yoga or not, and would be interested in adding a breath/emotion component to it, e-mail me. I'm very interested to see how it would affect you.
If you're interested in learning the Mother Sequence, I'll be teaching a 6 week course beginning October 3 at 6:00pm.
Post, as it appeared in the Kona Yoga Newsletter, September 11, 2006.