The present moment is reality but “the past” may be stored in “muscle memory,” i.e. tensions, tightness or physical constrictions that limit full range of body motion. Habits are subconscious behaviors captured in the physical, mental or emotional body. Yoga practice helps to free constrictions and body energy as it engages the mind to be self-aware, coordinating body movements with deep breathing.
Each long breath and focused movement massages the internal organs and stimulates the bio-electricity in the body, meaning the energy stored in physical body parts and the meridians breaking through energy blockages that can be the result of stress, an injury or trauma, or bad living habits (diet, habits or addictions, lack of exercise) and traced to the root of health (physical, mental or spiritual) problems.
“For centuries, in China, Japan, Tibet, India and other countries, life has been considered as a ‘bio-electrical or vibrational’ energy phenomenon. The existence of our energy flow affects how we feel, think, and overall health condition. When the body’s life-force energy becomes blocked, various imbalances result. It is because of the existence of this energy in our body that we can move, breathe, digest food think and even feel,” (“Natural Health Zone, 2020).
As we move through yoga postures, the internal organs are massaged, lengthening and stimulating healing energy from within. These meridians flow like rivers of energy through the body. There are many books to study Meridians as it is ancient knowledge revisited (more discussion on the location or function of Meridian energy to be explored in other articles).
Thus, let’s begin our practice with a yoga pose that may not be so familiar: “Modified Back Bend” or “Camel.” Come down to the floor with bent knees (a blanket or two can relieve pressure) keeping the upper body is straight, arms at the side. Begin to open the chest and keep the chin tilted down not to strain the fragile seven vertebrates in the neck.
Slowly, bring the arms down the back of the buttocks to the heels or let them rest on the lower buttocks. Look up and keep the neck in line with the spine. Hold the pose then slowly come back to a standing position. Be patient and only do as much as your body, at the present, will allow.
Yoga poses initiate a full range of motion. Your neck, shoulders, elbows, wrist, hips, knees, ankles, and back become freer as you practice without strain or rush. As we move through yoga poses, we breathe more fully and deeply and our cardio vascular system improves as the blood is enriched with oxygen. We do not have to push hard and work up a fast pace or purposeful “sweat.” This mental focus of slowing down brings clarity to our action and purpose as we relax through gentle movement. This focus releases tension and stress and we move with greater ease throughout the day.
Practice yoga in front of a mirror and see your efforts actualized as you look better!