How To Work With Your Body's Natural Movement During Yoga
Young children begin crawling on their own. At some point in their development, they pull themselves up, moving their hands and knees across the floor almost effortlessly. For those of you with children, you realize how quickly some begin to move with speed!
The natural movement of the body in the crawl is right hand forward with left knee following, then left hand forward and right knee following. There is a natural patterning to this movement. The same thing happens when toddlers begin to walk. We don’t teach this motion; it is innately within us. In time, children begin to pull themselves to a standing position with the help of a piece of furniture or a parent’s hands for balance, all while naturally moving.
There's a built-in system of movement that the body knows all on its own, and it doesn’t shut off once we learn how to walk. The information is already in the molecular structures of our human DNA/RNA codes, making it available and influential throughout our entire lives. When the upper right arm moves forward, the lower left leg follows. When the upper left arm moves forward, the lower right leg follows, forming an X between right shoulder and left hip, and right hip/left shoulder.
This X pattern plays itself out in each joint of the body. A series of Xs from ankles to knees, from hips and shoulders, and even the left and right hemispheres of the human brain are all designed to balance the broad spectrum of human movement. All of the Xs eventually connect in the center of our body at or about the third chakra.
I began to study this patterning movement with yoga in the same way. What I’ve learned is that applying this same philosophy in movement helps us not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. The key is pointing the mind's eye into the architecture of the body to maximize the asana’s potential for transformation. I call this “transformation from the inside out.”
The same scenario plays itself out in the roots of human breathing. The left nasal channel fuels the right side of the brain, which holds the parasympathetic nervous system. The right nasal channel fuels the left side of the brain and its sympathetic nervous system. This autonomic nervous system function is natural and organic and the explanation for how the body maintains its temperature of 98.6. Think of it as our HVAC system. It happens without conscious control of the mind's eye. However, if we choose to, we can physically control the breathing process and control life force (that’s where pranayama comes in!).
I’ve always been drawn to the laws of physics and have self-studied the work of Newton, Einstein, Dr. Bruce Lipton, and former NASA scientist Gregg Braden. Drawn to both the world of physics and yoga, I’ve uncovered what I refer to as “cross-patterning” yoga. When we create cross-patterning yoga movement techniques in the body, we synchronize the left and right cortices of the brain, giving each of us the quickest route to altered states of consciousness and stillness in the mind. We always use the least amount of energy to purify “awareness” states.
In postures, or asana, these movements balance “risk and reward” so beginning students don’t get injured and advanced students open more breathing channels in the body. This creates a safety net allowing us to move into deeper flows of prana as the mind is always drawn to the strongest charge of energy in the body at any given moment.
All the twisting supports, balances, and restores central nervous system function as many of our nerve endings are housed off the spine. Weave in some of these types of postures to open your heart, expand your awareness, and balance the body with its natural design qualities.
Join Ed for his free 10-Day Breathe, Love, Live Breathing Challenge beginning June 27.