Somatic Wisdom of Yin Asana: A Voyage Through Virasana
Part 2 of 4: Somatic Wisdom of Yin Asana
The Subtle System of Saddle
By: Kali Durga Yoga
The objective of Yin.
A still, intentional embodiment practice helps to soothe the fluctuations of a cluttered mentality and release the binding grip of muscular stress. Yin is the format we may use to withdraw from normative patterning of stimulation and let all the energetic build-up of the daily debris find a way to percolate through the system and be effectively released.
Certain implications of stress emerge around the tops of the thighs and the bottom of the hip flexor – a critical fight or flight response when the system is in stress – and so a shape which lengthens the quadriceps and compresses the bottom insertion of the psoas is paramount to softening and widening the legs so we might settle into groundedness.
I offer Virasana (Heros/Saddle) as a way to internally rotate the femur bones and lengthen the quadriceps to slough off mounting tension from thighs and lower hips. You can choose to keep the spine erect or enter into a more intense embellishment of the shape with the spine on the ground. This is an intense, acute shape: as such, within the immediacy of sensation there is the availability to observe somatic wisdom. Enter quietude to hear the wisdom – sometimes it speaks to you in a mere whisper.
Note: there are many resources online which point towards the proper cueing, entering and exiting the shape, contraindications and modifications. I encourage you to explore those on your own accord – the thrust of this post is not to cookie-cutter the shape for you, but rather to offer some of the underlying energetic repercussions a refined relationship to this posture will provide.
Settle The skeletal set up of the foundation for this shape is an internal rotation of the thigh bones and a compression of the front of the ankles as you settle the hips above the heels. The Kidney & Stomach Channels of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Meridians are engaged.
Spread Generally speaking, an internal rotation of the thighs allows for a spreading of the sacrum. Thus, a stable base of spine allows for a therapeutic foundation to compress lumbar if you choose to move into a backbend.
Arch If you enter the backbend by bringing the back to the ground behind you, you’ll experience a deep opening in sacral-lumbar region of the spinal column. Remember you are only as healthy as your spine is supple!
May the spinning of the thighs
Invite spaciousness in spine
& groundedness of presence
International yoga teacher Kali Basman enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect.
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