Well, its been a few days.
I had a pretty mellow weekend. I did a great back bend practice on Sunday and worked my way to kapotasana which was fun. I needed some help in the heat of it to really get a hold of my heels but I did a good job on my own. I also played around with a fun backbend variation from the level 3 syllabus which is called kapinjalasana in urdhva danurasana. It is a one-legged urdhva danurasana and the other side of you is doing natrajasana or kapinjalasana. I had never tried it but had seen it demoed a few times.
As I was practicing I found that I could do it so long as I turned my bottom foot out. I kept finding that was the only way to maintain my balance. So I texted both Noah and Darren to find out if that was okay. They both said, "It's the only way." In fact, Darren said, "Remember, f it affords access, then its alignment."
I thought this was so cool because it really made mee think deeply about what it means to access a pose. Not just the shell of the pose, not just the outer form but an intelligent alignment with the mechanics exteriorly and interiorly. When we first learn alignment it can seem like it actually denies access. For instance we say things like, "Only lift your leg as high as you can keep the hips square" and many times people feel like we have denied them a full expression with that injunction.
But here is the cool thing that we see over and over again. If we really engage those boundaries and practice within them then the body lines up over time with the optimal blueprint and the boundary or the imposed limitation that initially seemed to deny access, begins to afford an access that is healthier, more therapeutic and eventually a greater freedom in and expression of the pose arises. It is very cool. Then you get to the advanced poses and the you work within a form that is trickier and trickier.
So, it is an interesting inquiry into what access really means and the consideration of "if it grants access then it is alignment." For us in Anusara Yoga what we want is access to the profound and deep flow of Grace that is our true Self. So what grants access to that?
Surely, there are access points at every level of our being from the outer shell do the deepest sheath. But if we are stuck in the outer "how to" of asana or sadhana we may forget that the how to is only there to serve as access points to the Infinite. So really, we practice poses, and figure them out and explore them simply (and not so simply) as a means by which we might explore the finite mechanism of the body to experience and express the infinite Grace within.
So really, what grants you access? Think about it.