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swimmingly

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  • Nina
    Hello, everyone, I m forwarding on a few musings that were posted to a yoga group. This explains the slightly off-topicness of the content, but I ll forward it
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2004
      Hello, everyone,

      I'm forwarding on a few musings
      that were posted to a yoga group.
      This explains the slightly off-topicness
      of the content, but I'll forward it
      nonetheless, as it does align itself with
      processes of meditation.

      Nina

      --- Begin forwarded message ---

      Does anyone know of any 3, 4, and 5
      syllable chants that I might use to
      pace off swim strokes? 3 syllables,
      in particular, would be helpful.

      Yesterday, I went swimming for the
      first time in years and
      found that, with asana and short
      evening walks with the dogs as my
      only physical exercise during that time,
      I could hop right in and swim as
      though I make a regular practice
      of lap swimming! It struck me as
      evidence of how powerful yoga can
      be as regards cardiovascular fitness.
      I am sure the practice in coordinating
      movement with the breath translates
      easily, as well.

      It is so lovely and quiet under water,
      and swimming can be so meditative.

      The difference of feeling in the joints
      and through the body is also striking -
      there must be a way to bring some of the
      comfortable fluidity of swimming into
      a yoga practice. Of course, one is
      'weightless' and the other deals directly
      with gravity...

      One of the most striking things about
      swimming is that one slides along the
      edge of a wave in order to move forward...
      forcing flat through the surface of a wave
      requires more energy and means struggle.
      Swimming requires learning how to use
      one's body to direct the surface of a wave
      around and past one's body, such that the
      movement of the surface of the wave propels
      one forward.

      It seems, a parallel to this might be
      found in asana - that it is possible to
      wait and feel for the right circumstances,
      the welling of a wave of energy, and then
      to skillfully engage that arising wave of
      energy with joints and extensions, in order
      to direct that wave through to the tips of
      the body. This reminds me of the bhandas
      or locks, and their role energetically -
      they really are something like waterway
      locks.

      At any rate, just as waves come one after
      another in bodies of water, waves come one
      after another through our bodies... so,
      it is possible to ride the original
      wave out to the tips of the body, but as
      that wave is followed by another and another,
      it is possible to allow a waves to unfold through
      the tips as one drops back down onto subsequent
      waves, building the foundation of the pose
      again and again, as one might roll out dough,
      gradually moving towards the tips with each
      new wave.

      Building the asana in this way
      is akin to the way a seashore is altered by
      oceanwaves. A few particles of sand at a time,
      with total ease and relaxation, with one's
      right energy, within right time and right space,
      as if scripted by some eternal playwrite.

      Have you ever found yourself absorbed in
      watching the ocean waves come in and out?
      Your I-thoughts are suspended, your body
      has a physiological response (active engagement)
      with the movement of the ocean and seashore,
      of which you feel a part. That sort of absorption
      is the absorption one can find in the practice of asana...

      I write of the practice of asana, but this process
      of listening for the wave and riding it and subsequent
      waves to remake our internal/external seashores is a process
      that can be seen to be available in many aspects of
      our lives, including other yogic practices.

      I welcome your thoughts on the above, and also
      any tips on chants of various syllables...

      --- End forwarded message ---
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