Stability

BKS Iyengar on Stability —the Physical Body:

“We begin at the level of the physical body, the aspect of ourselves that is most concrete and accessible to all of us. It is here that yogasana practice and pranayama practice allow us to understand our body with ever greater insight and through the body to understand our mind and reach our soul. To a yogi, the body is a laboratory for life, a field of experimentation and perpetual research.“ ~~BKS Iyengar, “Light on Life”, p. 22  

In the Iyengar Yoga method, we begin with learning grounding standing poses as they help us learn to safely align our musculoskeletal body and correct how we walk, stand and move on our two feet.

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Tadāsana ~~Mountain Pose ~~ 

involution

 “The gradual involution of the senses and stilling of the mind with the aid of the breath make the practitioner fit for concentration and meditation. Involution means “tuning in”... Consciousness (citta) and vital energy (prana) are in constant association. Where consciousness is focused, there must be the energy of prana too, and where you direct the energy of prana, consciousness follows. Consciousness is propelled by two powerful forces, energy (prana) and desires (vasana). It moves in the direction of whichever force is more powerful. If breath (prana) prevails, then desires are controlled, the senses are held in check, and the mind is pacified. If the force of desire gets the upper hand, the breath becomes uneven, and the mind becomes agitated. These are things you can actually observe, just as you observe right measure and balance in Asana, and this is why and where the practice of yoga brings self-knowledge (svadhyaya). You will not reach knowledge of the divine Self without passing through self-knowledge. Your practice is the laboratory, and your methods must become ever more penetrating and sophisticated. Whether you are in Asana or doing Pranayama, the awareness of the body extends outward, but the senses of perception, mind, and intelligence should be drawn inward.” ~~Yogacharya BKS Iyengar, Light on Life, p. 102, on Pratyahara from the chapter on Vitality—The Energy Body.~~

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Eka Pada Ūrdhva Dhanurāsana ~~ One Legged Upward Bow Pose. With support of the forearms against two blocks and the wall.

within the screen, behind the veil

 “The body itself is a screen

to shield and partially reveal

the light that’s blazing

inside your presence...

A secret we sometimes know

and then not. “

—Rumi, V. 234-6. 


Patañjali Yoga Sutras:

1.3 Tada drastuh svarupe avasthanam ~~then the seer swells in her own true splendor

 

1.4 Vrttih svarupyam itaratra. ~~At other times the seer identifies with the fluctuating consciousness.

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Pasāsana ~ noose pose  

whirling in joy and creation

A deep silence revives the listening...

Like the ground turning green in the spring wind.

Like birdsong beginning in the egg.

Like this universe coming into existence,

the lover wakes, and whirls in a dancing joy,

then kneels down in praise.

Rumi, III, 4691-3.


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Parivrttaikapada Śīrsāsana

one-legged or split-legged revolving headstand

sustained & dedicated practice over time leads to transformation

“The advantage of sustained and dedicated practice over time (tapas) is that it creates lasting results. What we do over time removes what we have created over time. We cannot leap to freedom in one bound or one immersion in a holy river. This is a dream, an illusion. Resurfacing ego will always grab us back. The immersion is a beginning and a declaration of good intent. We wash away our stains and heal our wounds and frailties over many minutes, in many hours, in many years of sustained, mindful application... The point we are seeking to reach is where we can act directly in the present. Direct action stems from direct perception, the ability to see reality in the present, as it is, without prejudice, and act accordingly. This is what it truly means to live in the present moment.” —BKS Iyengar, Light on Life, p. 136-137.

Mūlabandhāsana

Mūla is root/base or beginning /foundation

Bandha means a bond, posture or fetter