Friday, March 18, 2016

Step lightly into spring

It's important, where "lock the knee" begins because like all stories they need a beginning, and after all, hatha yoga is just another story. It's the story of our bodies unfolding on a yoga mat, revealing all of its joys, trials, and tribulations.

On a more linear, practical level, it's important to know where locking of the knee begins because we can then take it step by step in a process called chunking. Scientist  know that it is how we learn a complex process like locking the knee best, by breaking it down into tiny increments.

So if we don't know where the process of lock the knee begins,
 how can we take it step by step? 
Where would we begin?    

We could ask Jayme or Sharyn or Mandi, where it begins. But before I resort to asking someone else, even if that someone is a great, seasoned teacher, I'm going to ask the question of myself.

  Tapping into our innate intelligence is ultimately what yoga is all about. 
The ancient teachings make it very clear, that we have everything we need inside of us including all kinds of power to even invoke magic. But that's for another blog.

So, let us begin like how I would begin any creative endeavor and that is to make a list of everything that comes to mind about the subject matter. I think we call it brainstorming.

What I know about locking the knee
Make it your mantra
Knee cap lifted
Drawing up the muscles from the feet all the way to the head
Squeeze your butt muscles
Lift the quadriceps
Feel the action in your feet
Even if you think the knee is locked, lock it again and again
Draw the lower belly in
Squeeze the muscles, tight around the hips

Given that our perceptions are unique to each of us and are influenced by our experiences, I'm sure that you have heard more or something different. So please, we would love to hear from you. There is space below under comments for you to add to our list.

When I look at the list I still don't know where the process begins. I have an idea, only because of my working knowledge of other styles of yoga.  For example, I know from John Friends' Anusara yoga that creating the foundation for yoga poses involves two universal principles. The first one is engaging muscular energy, drawing energy from the periphery of the body into a central focal point in the body.  Secondly, creating spiraling energy fields that move from the feet up through into the pelvis.

The other place that can shed more light on this subject for me is the developmental theory of movement.  Accordingly, there are 6 neurological patterns that are entwined in our DNA that were responsible for getting us from birth to walking, and the very first pattern was a push with our bodies into the earth. So from this information,

I would say that locking the knee
 needs to start at the feet.

In April's blog....we'll start here, pushing our feet down into the earth, seeking the rebound force that pushes back on us. That's called yielding, and it requires a focus on subtlety, and a momentary release of all effort. It happens with the exhalation like how when our teachers say in bow pose, to exhale and be taken up with the force. It's the end of our stories, to allow ourselves to soar in freedom.


Maurene. C Merritt

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