Friday, August 28, 2009

165/239 - Cultivating Stability

Thursday off.

My knee hurt, so I'm still on the day on/day off routine. I hope to slip through that today and tomorrow.

The day 233 meditation talks about the difference between plants and animals, at least in relation to their connective tissue.

Plant's mainly use cellulose. They put down roots. They stay in place. Almost everything about them is designed to increase stability. Yes, some will flex better in the wind instead of being blown over. So while stability in plants may allow for a decent amount of flexibility, mobility is still not a common or favorable attribute.

Animals use collagenous tissue to create a connective net that runs throughout the body. It fovors mobility, and animals achieve a kind of dynamic stability. Stability in animals requires near constant maintenance. Just look at your foot and ankle when doing any balancing pose. It's amazing, while staying still, the activity and twitching involved in the small muscles and tendons. I've watched people with excellent balance, and there is still this endless parade of corrections. I've tried to minimize these little corrections, with some but very little success. Balancing, which is one way of finding stability, does involve constant maintenance.

Applying this to asana practice, Gates recommends approaching class with the goal of finding stability (stillness?) in the poses. He says that if we find stability, strength will come, and so will come the room to explore the pose and find additional length. I'm headed off to class in just a few minutes, and I can't wait to try this.

1 comment:

bikramyogachick said...

I love watching the endless tiny corrections while balancing. It reminds me not to overcompensate or I will tip over. That applies to life off the mat as well!