Week of Ritual ~ Overview

Last week’s exploration of the practice of ritual:  How did the use of ritual influence our yoga practice?  We practiced familiar sequences, such as sun salutations, that provided a sense of security and comfort.  Through ritual we were able to access a deep level of body awareness and given the time to reflect on our emotional state.  One challenge to our ritualized practice was maintaining ‘presence’, or staying in the present moment. By the end of the week I had decided to maintain the use of familiar asanas and sequences, but our approach changed.  In an attempt to regularly draw our minds back to the present moment we would ‘work with a pose’ before ‘finding it’ and holding it.  By this I mean that we would use small movements to open up our joints, test our edges and play with moving in and out of each pose.  We would spend at least a full minute ‘playing with the posture’ before finding the final shape that felt right.  This technique worked wonderfully to keep us present while maintaining the sense of security and safety.  It did, however, have two effects that any teacher and/or practitioner should be aware of.  It made for a deeply physical and emotional practice.  Muscles released tension, joints opened up and emotions were triggered or released.  It was a profound experience and one I would recommend, but be prepared that it is not a technique to necessarily be practiced during a time of great vulnerability. I believe it is best used to continue healing a body and soul that are already on the mend.

We are all on this journey of learning together, please share …how would you use this technique for practice, what could be some possible improvements?

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Published in: on June 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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