Step 8: Asana

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The body is a vessel. It receives. It receives all day and all night. It receives food and water; it receives words and visuals, sounds and ideas. It receives hugs and smiles and sometimes it receives aggression and sadness. Your body receives the news of the day and the soundtrack in you headphones. Your body receives rest. Well, we hope it receives rest! If we tried to rest standing up, parts of the body may experience a sort of relief because the body is not in motion, but in order to allow the body to fully rest, we are best served by lying down. We create a situation where the body can actually receive the rest it needs. We put a pillow under our head, cover ourselves with a blanket to keep warm, we find a quiet space and close our eyes to rest the mind. In other words, we create an environment that supports rest. The same is true in meditation. As the body receives the breath and as the mind receives light, we are best served by creating an environment, both inside and out, that supports receptivity. For instance, we can sit upright and straighten the spine. We can breath through the nose. Interestingly, the nose has two nostrils; in fact, it has lots of two’s. We have a right and left nostril, our brain has a right and left hemisphere, our lungs are divided in two, right and left; two arms, two legs, to kidneys… and so our body, and its most important parts, is designed to consider balance and alignment.

In sitting upright, in straightening and aligning the spine, we are immediately balancing our breathing, we are balancing our asana, inside and out. And we are balancing ourselves in every way. Our inner posture and our outer posture are one in the same. A sloppy posture usually means a sloppy breath, a sloppy attitude, and a sloppy response.  An upright posture usually means a poised mind and a poised attitude. And so, as we come to our meditation with the intention to support altitude and poise, receptivity and awareness, we are supporting a lovely mental asana and supporting our body in the same way. As we get comfortable in mind and body, then our emotions report ease. With comfort and ease, you have established proper asana and you are ready…  your body is ready… your vessel is ready… it has everything it needs in order to receive, respond, and rejoice! This week we work with asana.

Downloadable Podcast: Introduction to Step 8 – Asana


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