Monday, October 29, 2007

Clarifying Standing on One Leg, #1

Human beings can do a lot of things,
many of them fairly stupid,
and some
marvelous and we don't even know it:
such as standing on two feet.

Lo and behold,
why stop there:
How about standing on one leg?

Turns out
in its quest to help us clarify what this
body thing
body mind thing
focusing and attention thing
is all about
has a bunch of one legged postures.

And great:
every time we walk
we are one legged
for a little while.

in yoga,
we hang on one longer.

So, let's take the simplest
and make one set of clarifications
this week
and some more next week.

The pose:

How to do it:
You know,
but just in case:

Stand on one foot,
bring the sole of your other foot
to your ankle
or your calf
or your thigh,
or bring your ankle of the up foot,
across the standing up leg thigh.

Anyway: there you are on one foot,
and the hands?

In prayer pose:
at heart
or above your head.
Or arms parallel above your head.

then you stay there awhile,
and if you want to get fancy,
close your eyes and stay there.

the affirmation:
"I am calm. I am poised."


And to clarify:
try this.
First experiment with your two legs
and discover which side does Trikonasa better.

Then do it on the "second best" side again,
and see how it is,
and specifically notice:
where is your hip joint.

Then lie down.
Stand the foot on the ground/ floor,
of the "second best" balancing leg.
Leave the "first best" leg lying straight and
it will just do nothing for awhile.
So we'll call this "second best" leg,
the Leg.

Now: imagine where your hip joint
is for the Leg.
Hint: it's not at the outer edge we
call our hips.
Nor is it in the crease where our pants
make a fold, in the groin area.
So where is the hip.
Find out.

Move the Leg, with foot in place,
the knee to the right and left.
Search for where the hip joint is.
Really slowly.
Take rests.
Do this again.

Let the Leg down, and rest like that.

Now bring the foot of the Leg
to standing again, and do this interesting
once breathe out, and lift that knee, and bring it
closer to your head
and then breathe out,
and push your belly out and
press that foot into the floor/ ground so that
side of the pelvis raises a little.
Go very slowly.
Search for the hip joint
in all this.

Take another rest.

Do that again.

Take another rest.

Now combine:
Bring the Leg to standing,
and rotate that knee in a circle
in such a way that sometimes the belly
is going out and the knee is going away
from your body
and sometimes the knee is to the right,
and sometimes the knee is coming toward you,
and sometimes the knee is going to the left.

Slowly circle.
Slowly circle the other way.

Search for the hip joint.

Come to standing.

See now which leg stands
more easily in tree pose,
and what knowing about
your hip joint
has to do with helping this.


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