Foundations, Foundations, Foundations
Learning the basics and repeating them as part of your regular practice is really crucial to developing zen. Like in sports, we cannot simply start practicing only advanced techniques and trying our luck in matches. A well prepared yogi and zen master – and I use that word only partially tongue-in-cheek – will need to keep practicing simple breathing techniques, mental focus (drishti) and solid grounding throughout the physical practice. Otherwise, your yoga practice construct and spiritual warrior like clarity falls over like a house of cards in the wind.
I’ve been exceedingly busy and performance focused in the last few weeks to step up BodyMindSol and incorporate our wonderful home at Andrew Boy Charlton Pool. In the process, I pretty much merged with my computer and inhaled queries from everyone around me and exhaled emails. I stretched into our new timetable and explored different ways of presenting our philosophy. Kant kept coming up…
All of this mental chatter culminated when I was driving out to Sydney Olympic Park to teach our first yoga practice of this term. Sydney traffic can leave me a bit frazzled at the best of times. But for me, as a teacher and constant student, it’s in teaching that I practice and return back to zen. As a result, the basics I taught today were extremely well received – despite no mic, strong winds and a huge turnout leading me to really project (read: shout) my instructions across the grassy knoll.
Today’s teaching tip and practicing tip is therefore: Foundations. Do them well, return to them whoever you can and treat them as technique drills that allow you to dive deeper and get fascinated with each element of your practice and way of being. And for new students they are something to grow from and build on.
We had such fun with a strong focus on “active” hands and feet. Feeling like we were dropping an anchor, pulling energy up out of the earth – truly, muscles are just bundled energy, no?
Drawing attention to your extremities and engaging muscles is a great tool to build awareness and help engagement of other muscles further up the kinetic chain – it also builds heat and helps against strong winds like today.
Try it! You’ll feel rock steady and calm. That’s a promise.