Stability with Mobility

Steady Comfortable Foundation. We all want to rest in a stable, comfortable, grounded sense of life. In the foundational scripture of classical yoga, the Yoga Sutras, sage Patanjali describes an asana yoga position as exactly this: embodying sthira steadiness and sukha comfort. Therefore from a purely physical dimension – the most superficial part of our practice - what we seek in each asana is that which will help us strengthen and relax into our musculoskeletal core.

There are many methods in yoga by which to establish this steadiness.

Tightening or locking the joints, squeezing and clenching various muscles such as buttocks, back, or thighs, holding the breath, commanding your body to be still, emphatic emphasis on alignment and so on can all bring a sense of immobility - but not necessarily steadiness. The disadvantage of many of these approaches is that they force your body to be rigid in order to be stable. As a result there is subtle discomfort in the practice, decrease in fluid movement, a sense of mechanical strength without graceful mobility, and a separation of feeling from form as the mind commands the body.

There are also a variety of techniques to bring about comfort or ease including releasing technical precision, abandoning alignment, disregarding anatomical safety, avoiding uncomfortable positions, letting the body just do what it enjoys and so on. This absence of technical skill and safe technique can give a false sense of freedom, actually increase stiffness, continue inherent weaknesses, create injury, perpetuate unhealthy habit patterns, and generate imbalances that become an unconscious part of practice.

These functional concerns of balancing stability with comfort are also at the crux of Western physiological techniques. Whether from the East or West, however, the core question of the musculo-skeletal process practice is:

What techniques give muscles and joints their best anatomical advantage?
What needs to be relaxed and what strengthened to provide balanced alignment?

Fluid Strength. To address this, the Inner Sky methodology emphasizes a dynamic balance of stability and mobility and an equal balance of skillful technique with sensory intuition. The physical essence is an open, spacious, intelligent, aligned, muscular core strength that flows through a skeletal system in which all the joints remain, open, fluid and mobile in every position, with every breath - more like a tree than a stone statue. The effect is a joyful, spacious practice that is strong yet fluid, technical yet intuitive, safe yet adventurous, and heartfelt yet intelligent.

The physical foundation of this approach begins in the deep root of the body - the pelvic floor. By first releasing the chronic tension stored there, then strengthening and building upward lift, we establish a strong and supple physical foundation on which to support a steady, comfortable practice. By stretching and relaxing, strengthening and then lifting the physical floor of our body, our body is grounded yet expansive, steady and relaxed. This pelvic floor lifting, known by its Sanskrit term mulabandha, is the deep muscular root of the InnerSky Core Yoga methodology.

This lift is directed through your body by using the pelvic bowl as the origin of all movements. The sitz bones, sacrum, pubic bone and hip joints begin each movement, alignment and position. As a result you are always connecting to your roots, always anchored to the ground, consistently centered for maximum efficiency, power and ease. You can change, adapt and move confident in your base, while those around you may have to be more rigid to have similar steadiness. This provides expansive delight, mobility and the opportunity to be more exploratory in your practice.

I want my practice to be an adventure, to be a source of wonder, and to stimulate my curiosity. All the great benefits of yoga still occur - strength, flexibility, presence, and the company of other similar beings. Yet there is always space to see what else is possible, and respond to what the light is calling us to.

This then grows into an open ended practice. One that gives us support to enjoy the journey, let go of needing rigid results, and be surprised by what occurs