Do we recognize that painful cramping in the legs or arms maybe generated by restricted oxygenated or blood flow limiting flexibility and mobility? Do we consider that by actively practicing yoga, we can break through patterned restrictive movement resulting in pain in the body, blocking energy flow? We can improve flexibility and mobility by focusing on certain simple, concentrated movements that stimulate healing energy to constricted anatomical parts.
Yoga is about creating a pattern of “fruition.” Yoga generates “heat” from within. It is not about raising the thermostat so the body sweats. By generating heat from within the body is increasing the oxygen blood flow to nurture muscles, tissues and organs and keep them healthfully functioning, freeing up movement and increasing flexibility. If the body is immobilized, energy flow is constricted. If a physical disability has occurred in the body, it is important to keep moving as much as possible and add a variety of motion (the body will allow at the present) and work towards deeper breathing to enhance energy and tightness.
A simple way to begin to awaken locked-in energy in the body is by sitting in a cross-legged posture, hands flattened by the hips without the back “sagging.” Press down on the palms of the hands with open fingers and gradually lift the body off the ground for a few seconds, then gradually lower it. Do this at least three times then shake the body into wakefulness and release the posture.
Another Tibetan Yoga practice is a variation of movement including “root lock, upwards abdominal lock throat lock to draw energies in to the body’s central nervous system. Begin by pressing down the palms, contracting the abdominal, lifting the buttocks and folded legs off the floor and holding the position without strain, as the chin is pressed into the notch of the larynx. This posture causes the “winds” in the body to expand.
This pose awakens heat energy, releasing it through the spine to all parts of the body. An advanced action within the same move is to add a twist to the core in one direction then the other. Hold the twists on each side and let the body gradually release and adjust. Tightness experienced from the core will gradually give way to greater mobility as the body heats-up.
Another energy releasing posture is to raise the arms, overhead and join the hands together while twisting the core to one side then the other.
The goal of these enhanced breathing practices is to awaken new energy that may have been obscured to our consciousness and has remained dormant. Unless we focus on increasing energy and movement flowing with the breath, we may be consciously “asleep.”
Yoga emphasizes concentration, visualization and breathing. These simple movements focus on augmenting physical and mental clarity as locked in tension is gradually released and greater mobility and flexibility evolves.