“Extension is attention. Expansion is awareness. Extension brings space and expansion bring freedom. Freedom is precision and precision is divine. You must create space and extend from your center…
When you extend it opens the nerve endings and throws out stored impurities.” BKS Iyengar, Light on Life
Last week, I spent four days in paradise with my mom. The beach is my happy place and Mexico has some of the most beautiful beaches. What I appreciate most about this beautiful location is that there was no-one on the beach! My mom and I had the whole place to ourselves aside from the stingrays riding the waves and the whales raising their babes.
For me when I'm at the sea’s edge, something happens. The space in my brain expands, worries fall away and I relax in the expanse of the horizon.
While together, my mom and I had conversations that have been waiting under the surface for over 30 years. Potentially painful conversations that never had the right time. Sitting side by side watching the ocean waves break on the shore, we were able to share some of the deepest long held hurts and pains and let them come out and float away on the tendrils of the winds. I, personally, felt free.
It seems an unbearable prospect to speak about the unspeakable and so we don’t. And then it sits inside, compression and rotting and causing so much more pain. But we get used to it. To speak is to extend out of fear or uncomfortable comfort. There, with the healing properties of sea and air and space, all the impurities released. This is what I think is included in what BKS Iyengar said, “let us be full in whatever posture it is we are doing just as one should be full in whatever we do in our lives.”
And this is how he takes ideas and philosophy into the realm of asana, the realm of experience.
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Stand in Tadasana.
Press your feet into the ground. Feel the ground.
Lift up from the shins to the collarbones.
Press your feet in order to ascend more.
Lift your arms up to Urdhva Hastasana to increase your extension. Extension is attention.
Lower the arms so they extend parallel to the floor and expand from the center of your chest to the tips of your fingers.
Spread, Expand horizontally, your pelvis, waist, chest, collarbones and eyes. Expansion is Awareness.
Breath. Pause and Observe
“In order to descend we need to ascend”
Do uttanasana. Observe.
Now, stand in Tadasasana, reach the arms up to Urdvha Hastasana, extend completely then bend to Uttansana.
Did you descend more? Exhale and expand horizonatally . Did you descend more?
As you do Trikonasana ( or any posture) extend from your center, press your feet to extend your legs and trunk.
Observe how far your extension penetrates.
Expand Horizontally. Extend Vertically and/or laterally
Expand your eyes, the skin on your forehead.
Extend beyond the boundaries of your extremities. Extend and expand into the cosmos.
Come out of the pose into Tadasana.
Breath. Observe. Do you feel more present?
Be well and move with consciousness,