Imagine you were born on a cloudy day. Every time you went outside and looked up, the sky was grey. You grew up only knowing cloudy skies. You heard that there was a blue sky past all the clouds, but because you have never seen clear skies, the grey skies didn't bother you. Then one day you were sitting in stillness, looking up at the grey sky and you saw the clouds part, and a beautiful blue sky appeared majestically above you. It only lasted for a moment, but for the first time, you truly knew that the sky was blue.
This is the journey to understanding the truth. To be present and connected. If you live your whole life in the past or projecting into the future, or anywhere else other than here, you might be completely content not living in the now. But once you experience a life of absolute presence and unity, you understand the true nature of all things. Even if it's just an instant, your life will become a journey to the present moment.
We all have a "bad side." As symmetrical as we wish to be, we are inherently non-symmetrical. Almost all people have a dominant side, even if you are ambidextrous you probably favor some activities with one hand or the other. And although we look mostly symmetrical on the outside, on the inside we are very different. Look at the veins on the back of your hand; you can see that your circulatory system on your left is different than your right. It is the same for our brain, nervous system, muscles, skeleton, and fascia. How we have moved our entire life has shaped us and because we also do most things asymmetrically, being equally good on one side as you are the other is near impossible.
I was asked if we should work towards training our good side first until we understand the movement before we work on our bad side. While this is not a wrong approach and many athletes, circus performers, gymnasts, and dancers might only work one side for a certain thing, it is not what I recommend; I've learned this the hard way.
When it comes to most one arm things, my left side is much worse than my right. When I started practicing one arms handstands, I naturally progressed faster on my right, and so I would practice more on my right. When I would demo, it would be on my right, and generally, when I do photo it's on my right side because it looks better; and so the gap between my left arm and right arm became even more significant. It's been a lot of work to get my left arm better, and I am still nowhere close to "equal.
Not being able to do a one arm handstand equally on both sides isn't the worst thing in the world but we need to remember that the body holds itself together with a balance of tension and compression through a principle called biotensegrity. When our movement patterns create even greater asymmetry, this disbalance can create pain and injury and dysfunction. If you are weaker on one side, start with that side and maybe train it a little harder. I went a whole year doing everything left handed to help retrain my brain and bring more mindfulness to what I do. My goal is to have two good sides and bring balance to my body and mind.
Movement arises from its origins of imagination to the expression of creative play. The minds manifestation of its thoughts and inventions lends to the fabrication of creation to the exploration of freedom and flow. The physical interpretation of our emotional relation gives way to a new connection between discovery and liberation.
We are nature, from the source of nature, arising from nature as interconnected and interdependent with nature. Alan Watts said, “We do not 'come into' this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree." Our inner nature reflects the outer environment.
We get our food from plastic bags instead of from the soil, our water from plastic bottles and PVC pipes instead of rivers and lakes; we sleep on latex foam instead of soft grass. The more we distance ourselves from nature, the more disconnected to the earth we become and because we are nature, the more disconnected to ourselves we become. And as we destroy our jungles and forests, pollute our oceans and poison our sky, so too do we poison our being and destroy our spirit.
We need to change the hearts of many to change the culture. Connection is the root of love, and through love for our planet, we can reform this connection. If you are looking for ways to contribute, here is a great charity I donate to. https://www.earthday.org/ Happy earth day!
It’s easy to confuse having an advanced movement practice with an advanced yoga practice. We can be advanced movers, but I don’t believe we can be advanced yogis, nor can we be beginner yogis.
Yoga by its primary definition is connection. To give something a level like beginner or advanced is to create separation in the very practice of non-separation. By assuming that you can be an advanced yogi is an illusion that goes against everything that is yoga.
Sound on! This song “Govinda Radhe” is a beautiful mantra redone by my friend @aria.official and I am honored to be accompanying her on this track playing my rav drum. Check out her full mantra album on iTunes.
If you’re someone who struggles with flexibility, you want to learn how to safely and effectively stretch, maybe you can’t touch your toes but you want to; then my new Beginner Flexibility series on @alo.moves is for you.
Can a movement practice also be considered meditation?
Some traditionalists may say no, although even zen Buddhist monks have practiced walking meditation for thousands of years. I think that the more you identify with the separation of the mind and the body, the more you separate the practice of meditation from movement.
Meditation is a tool used understand the self (the whole self, mind, body, and nature) and our natural tendencies as they arise in the present moment; ultimately to understand the truth of connection and unity. I believe that movement is a great tool to be used to focus the mind, observe its fluctuations and dive deeper into present connection especially for some practitioners where still meditation might be too challenging.
When we understand meditation more as a tool with purpose and less of a separate practice with a goal, we can realize that this tool of meditation can be adapted to every aspect of our lives and everything can be experienced in a state of meditation. . Wearing @aloyoga
Life isn't obligated to offer you its meaning. We look at life as though it's supposed to make sense. We search for answers as if they exist outside of ourselves. The majesty is in its mystery, for if the answers to life's great questions were not profound, what would we seek? And yet to juxtapose life's mystery lives within its simplicity; clarity through objectivity removes the biased imprint of influenced differences to reveal that the meaning of this life can only be imagined but not identified.