Notes From St. John, 2016, Part I

Inhabiting a Multidimensional Universe

The recurring theme of the week was the embodied exploration of the seven sacred directions, using asana and movement, to: 1. expand the world we inhabit: 2. discover shadows, ie, the unconscious or unresolved areas of our psychic, as well as physical and physiological space: 3. bring our expanding awareness into the world around us, integrating with Nature, and our relationships: 4: discover the Soul and its primary urges for us in this lifetime. Remember the seven directions begin with the Heart center and include three pairs of complementary directions/energies. Our goal is to integrate these within the pair, and within the whole. Capitalization indicates referral to a sacred direction.

The Seven Sacred Directions

One: The Heart: Discover, feel and open your heart. The heart is the center, the images-6intersection point of all the other directions. Let your personal heart expand into and merge with the Cosmic Heart and rest in the infinite stillness revealed there. Your heart knows how to do this. Your mind probably does not. This is our ‘natural state’, the ‘drashtuh svarupe” of the Yoga Sutras. This practice is 24/7/365.

Two: Earth: Find gravity and what we call down. We are in a body, on Mother Earth. When sitting or standing, feel the vertical line passing through your heart, through your core, down into Mother Earth and feel you heart merging with the heart of the Divine Mother. Feel your whole body responding to weight and grounding. Release and awaken your first or root chakra. Imagine the core line, or chakra line, open so all chakras connect through the root chakra into ground. Feel the stability, what Patanjali calls ‘sthira’. You cannot fall off the planet. You will not float away!

This direction also represents the underworld, the collective energetic experience of the whole 4.5 billion year old history of Mother Earth, the “Sacred Feminine”, with powers, information and support available to us through soul work, dream and shamanic studies. The western world long ago equated the underworld with hell, so it has become a collective region of pathology, fear and terror. We, as individuals, cultures and the planet as a whole, need to spend a lot of time in serious healing here. Step three will be necessary for this.

 Three: Heaven: Find levity and lightness as you orient to up, to the sky. From the earth and heart, open your crown chakra and extend the core chakra line Unknown-3upward into the heavens. Feel the levity or lightness in your cells and bones, the expanding upwards of your energy without losing ground. Feel the weight and lightness in balance from the heart as you sit or stand ‘suspended’ or floating between heaven and earth. All chakras turned on and glowing gently, quietly. Feel your chakra line like the center axis of a gyroscope, stabilizing. The heavenly realms are also so home of the angels, devas,  Buddhas and other teachers of ascendent and transcendent wisdom. Lots of support for our soul and social journey resides here. Integration of Heaven and Earth gives us our vertical axis, the core of the fundamental ‘posture’ of the human, and completes the first stage in preparation for asana or any embodied exploration.

Unknown-2 Four: East or Front: Discover your front body. Face the east, and all subsequent directions will assume this as our base position. Obviously, we will equate the east direction with the front body, as Iyengar demonstrates in ‘purvottanasana’, the intense stretch to the east (side of the body) pose. Notice your eyes naturally face forward from the front and therefore we tend to be much more conscious of the front body, as we can see it best. From an embryological perspective, the front represents the gut body or endoderm, including throat, lungs, intestines, liver and stomach and bladder. It is soft and vulnerable. From the perspective of our psychic body, the east represents sunrise in the daily cycle and the season of springtime. We find new beginnings and the joy and innocence of images-3youth, with lightheartedness combined with a subtle wisdom that is simultaneously both very old and very new. It is not wisdom of culture or education, but of the heart. The front also represents the future and our future selves yet to be revealed. In asana, the front body is opened and explored in depth through the element fire in back-bending poses, either supported or dynamic.

 Five: West or Back: The complementary direction to the front is the Unknown-3back, the west side of the body as shown in ‘paschimottanasana‘, the intense stretch of the west side. West is where the sun sets, so the west represents endings and letting go. The season is fall. In contrast to the East, he Western psychic space is weighty and dark, and is the direction through which we discover the underground and the soul. The back body, as West, represents the past, in its collective wisdom, but also in the karma of our unconscious, unresolved issues, from this lifetime, and previous ones. Thomas Hübl calls this our ‘backpack’ of burdens we carry around in life. As we ’empty’ this backpack though therapy, soul work and inner reflection, we free up energy for our future selves and make the present moment much lighter. In asana, forward bending poses lengthen, soften and relax the back body. In embryology, the back body is the endoderm or nervous system which is soothed, softened and opened in asana practice, by the element water and forward bending postures.

The pose of balance between the front and back bodies is of course tadasana, or sirsanasa. The tissue layer of balance is the mesoderm, or middle layer. In kinesiology, mammalian flexion and extension involve waves traveling back and forth between front and back bodies, so healthy movements are integrating. We will come back to this very important layer a little bit later in this article. This completes stage two.

Six: South or Right: As we face east, the right side of the body points to the south. The right is the solar, yang or masculine side of the yoga energy channels. The south, halfway between east and west, represents noon or mid-day, when imagesthe light is the brightest and youthful energy is at its peak. It’s energy is wild, liberated and exuberant. The season is summer. The psychic space is full of eros, the celebration of aliveness and the fullness of Nature’s bounty.

Seven: North or Left: The left side correspondingly faces the north, the season of winter, the time of day, imagesmidnight. The lunar nadi is the left, the feminine, yin or cooling side. The psychic sphere is the realm of the wise elders, guides, teachers and parents. This balances the youthful enthusiasm of the south. Without the north, the wildness of the south energy can get out of hand and become destructive. Without the youthful south to balance, the old age of the north can become cold, dry and fossilized. All pairs balance each other, and to integrate is to realize how to bring the pairs together as wholeness.

In Embryology, right and left emerge out of the middle layer, the mesoderm where a single energy channel becomes seven, three right, three left, and the center, giving birth to the spinal vertebrae, heart, kidneys and limbs, as well as other connective tissue structures. We explore this median plane and its relationship to right and left in the lateral standing poses such as trikonasana, parsvakonasana and half moon, as well as anantasana and variations. Right and left complete stage three, and we now have our seven sacred directions, the heart as center, and three pairs of complementary energy fields that, when working together, give us a fully embodied, three dimensional field of perception, action and intelligence, from cell to skin ans skin to cell. This is of course, samyama in asana.

Explorations:

Step Eight: As we are in the Caribbean, with the amazing reefs of St. John all around us, we can take this 7 directional field of intelligence into the water, especially snorkeling or scuba diving. When swimming, notice our chakra line is no longer oriented to heaven and earth, but parallel to the earth, along our N-E-S-W compass lines. The front body face down to the earth, back body the heavens. This is a very different orientation, and a very rich one for humans to explore. Also, the buoyancy of the water takes much of the effort out of the muscles, so we can literally float in the water. This too is a hugely fertile field of sensations and movement explorations play with. Rather than just the mechanics of swimming, play with the buoyancy changes the energy fields of the seven directions.

Bluefish_01Step Nine: Now, moving your intelligence field and your mirror neuronal sytem out into the water, begin to embody, or imagine what it feels like to be a: sting ray: turtle: reef fish like a tang: a parrotfish; a sea anemone or sea fan, etc. What do you ‘feel’ when you allow the energy of your chosen being to fill your inner world? What new shapes in your field can you give birth to ?

images-1Step Ten: Afternnoon breathing sessions: Our omni-directional intelligence also expands and condenses radially, like the movements of the hoberman spheres, and this offers us another pair of energies to explore and integrate. (tato dvandva anabhigatah, PYS II-48). We can also relate these movements to the Prana vayus, the yogic model of physiological activity.

The prana vayu governs what we take in. It is the expanding, centrifugal energy of getting larger as we fill up. The prana vayu is centered in the chest to help draw breath into the lungs as inhalation, and blood back to the heart. So we want the chest cavity to really feel its expandability, its capacity to open and increase its volume. However, this is not accomplished by using the spinal muscles, or contracting in any way. Inhalation requires getting out of the way and allowing the natural opening to emerge. When possible, use a bolster or rolled up blanket to lift the chest slightly.

The apana vayu governs what we let go of, what we eliminate, and involves a squeezing or condensing centered in the belly and pelvic areas. We take in one direction, through the mouth and nostrils and down into lungs and stomach. But we squeeze out in two directions, down for solid and liquid wastes, but up for exhaling the breath. So the energy of the apana has to be very intelligent and alert to make sure both directions are operating as desired.

The Practice:
Part 1
: either seated or lying down, keep the spine long and relaxed. On the inhalation, without any force or tension, invite the in breath to be primarily driven by the sideways expansion of the ribs, allowing the inter-costal muscles to open. On the exhalation, with minimal tension, allow the exhalation to come from the squeezing of the abdominal wall and not a dropping of the chest. This will help stretch out the diaphragm. Later, we will integrate the ribs with the exhalation, but not before the diaphragm has really opened up. Continue to breathe this way, gradually expanding the chest wall, lifting and opening the dome of the diaphragm, and strengthening the abdominal wall. Notice the squeezing of this is from the back and sides to the center and not a shortening like in a sit-up.

Part 2: Morning Asana: In tadasana find your navel. Imagine your original navel as a portal entering from the front and flowing back towards the spine. As the energy draws your navel to the spine, feel the back of the mesentery, behind the intestines, widening and spreading right and left. Next, imagine or feel this spreading tissue, when it reaches the outer sides of the body, begin to wrap around toward the front. Now let the two ends meet in the middle front body and knit together. Back, Widen, Wrap and Knit. This tones the core, like a mild Kate and Arthur 1996uddiyana bandha. Feel it down inside the pelvis, and up under the ribs around and below the diaphragm. Keep this toned as you breathe in and out. Exhalation will increase the tone. Try not to collapse the tone on the in-breath. Connect this feeling to your legs as well.

Explore what happens to this tone when you go from tadasana into uttanasana and back. Same in any of the standing poses.

More Detroit Notes: 7 Sacred Directions

Balance and Energy Flow through the Seven Sacred Directions

UnknownThe gyroscope offers a model to help get us started in our exploration of our embodied energy fields. We have a vertical axis, a radiant horizontal plane, and a center point where they meet. Feel this dynamic spiraling energy in your body so we can locate, inhabit and awaken the seven sacred directions of the cosmos. We will find a center and three pairs or polarities of energies that interact with each other to guide us home to the wholeness of the Sacred Universe, our true nature, or drashtuh svarupe.

In our bodies, our heart is the Center, the place ofimages-1 balance, of home. This is the first direction, the primary direction and organizing center, and is represented by the energies of expanding and condensing as shown in the Hoberman spheres. Energies fills the heart from the other six directions, and the heart radiates energy out to the world through the other directions. The other six directions all find expression of their qualities through the heart as variations of Love

The vertical axis gives us the first of the three pairs of sacred directions and is our connection to the ‘unseen’ or hidden realms of existence, (unseen to our ordinary senses and modes of attention!) Unknown

The second direction is Down, through our root chakra, the muladhara, into Mother Earth, into the deep feminine, the dark underworld of the unconscious, of life at its primal level, unconditioned by social rules and repressions; into the shamanic world of fairies, elves, djinns and nymphs; of plant and animal guides and an ageless wisdom waiting to be rediscovered. We might call this the realm of the “Soul”. Patriarchal cultures are terrified of this realm and have demonized it for millennia. Still happening today, sad to day. If you believe yoga is about gaining controol of the body/mind, than your soul is needing serious nourishment!  Fortunately there is a vast movement diving into ‘Soul”, ‘waking down’, rapidly making its way though many dimensions of modern culture into the world. To dive into the soul in a healthy way, we need the support of all seven directions.

The polar opposite direction, Up, connects us through our crown chakra to the heavenly realms of angels, Buddhas, and no longer embodied enlightened beings and teachers, to the intelligences of other stars and galaxies yet to be noticed on our planet. Traditional, ie patriarchal, forms of spirituality have place ascending, (getting to heaven, kaivalya) as primary or only way of spiritual growth. We are now moving toward an integral approach to spiritual practice that honors, and requires, all directions.

The horizontal plane has the final four directions, two more pairs, also known as the cardinal directions of North, South, East and West. These represent the ‘seen world’, (as opposed the the unseen of the vertical axis) taken in by our five senses. These directions can be seen as references for pairs of skills and talents, life situations and challenges available for us to be cultivated and healed during our time here on the planet. This is a cross cultural model with different attributes and imagery associated with each of the four. They may represent: the four seasons of summer, fall winter and spring; the four cardinal moments of the day: sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight; the four basic elements of earth, water, fire and air. Native Americans use the four directions of the ‘Medicine Wheel’ as map for the sacred journey of life.  For our purposes here we will draw upon observations from Bill Plotkin’s Wild Mind” mentioned in a previous blog, as well as a more traditional yoga perspective and poses, as we embody these possibilities.

East: Sunrise, the front of the body, purva, as in purvottanasana, beginnings and rebirth, springtime. From “Wild Mind” we find the combination of innocence and wisdom leading to simplicity and joyousness, curiosity and a sense of adventure in life. When East is lacking or repressed, we can get dark and heavy, weighted down by West’s connection to death and dying and the challenges of ‘soul’ work.

West: Sunset, autumn, the back of the body, paschimottanasana, endings, letting go, completions, introspection. ‘Wild Mind’: A connection to death and transformation, the underworld, the ‘soul’, to romance that is utterly and darkly mysterious, to our muse that flows from our deep imagination. When West is repressed or lacking, we can become very superficial or trivial as East’s lightness loses the grounding provided by West. This is common in spiritual communities with a charismatic leader with a dark shadow. If we are looking for the ‘light’ but refuse also to see and acknowledge the dark shadowy side that we all, including spiritual teachers, have, we repress our own unconscious pain and confusion. We pretend to be ‘light’ because we believe that is what spirituality is supposed to be about, but our souls suffer deeply when ignored.

North: Midnight, winter, the elders, keepers of the ancient wisdom, the left side of the body. “Wild Mind”: the nurturing adult, the healer, leader; the source of compassion and connection, of belonging. When North is repressed or ignored, we can become selfish and hedonistic as ‘wild youth’ of South loses its way in the world without the guidance of the adults and elders. Modern culture lives with North repressed as most of the ‘leaders’ in politics and business these are terminal self centered adolescents.

South: Noon, summer, the right side of the body, youth. “Wild Mind”:  wild and indigenous, totally home as an embodied being, erotic, instinctually alive and connected to all of the natural world, flowering, traveling, celebrating aliveness. When South is neglected or repressed, we can become overly serious and frozen in our beliefs and attitudes as the adult side loses its wild and youthful balance. The future becomes terrifying and we long for the ‘good old days’ when things were ‘done the right way’.

BKS padmasanaThe Embodied Practice:

Start with any centering pose, sitting or standing. From your heart, open root and crown chakras to open center channel, balance front body with back body, right side with left. Feel centered and alive. Rest in the stillness at the root of the heart. In all poses keep returning here again and again.

Balancing North and South, aka Right and Left. AK-Vira-II-19881-300x236Many standing poses are designed to balance right and left. By doing each side with awareness of center channel and front/back balance, the imbalances can be seen explored, and balanced, as best possible. Go beyond the structure and feel Right/South and Left/North qualities  awakening and growing. Find poses where you can stay long enough to take all this in. In all poses, balance right and left. (Notice that hatha yoga is a very ‘South nurturing’ practice.)images-3-1

images-4-1Balancing East and West, aka Front and Back. Forward bending and back bending poses are obvious. Go beyond the structure to add the qualities of East and West in your explorations. Mild back bends like salabhasana or sphynx  and simple standing forward bends are great ways to play with layers beyond the physical. Keep your back muscles relaxed to feel the West/mystery behind you. It is a scary place so we all tend to hold on, unconsciously. Of course, in all poses, balance front and back.

Balancing Heaven and Earth, head and tail. halasana 1982Inversions, supported when necessary offer an obvious way to balance above and below. But any and all poses allow the sense of up and down, into the earth and up the the sky, weight and lightness.

Integration: The Spiral: Feel how twisting poses allow you to play with all directions simultaneously. Be the gyroscope, and feel how you can spiral up, down or both. How you can turn right, left or both, in any twist. Spin out to the horizon line and back into to your center. Expand your horizons beyond the body, and what you think are your limitations. These poses are really fun.BettySitTwist

Returning to the Source: Unknown-1Savasana: Back into the center, into the stillness, into the mystery.

 

 

Moving Out into the World

OB-NU071_ilama0_D_20110505091918When ready, bring all of your qualities, all seven directions, your Whole Self, into the world and live the good life in all of its delightful and challenging aspects.

 

 

Notes From Detroit: Jan 2016 (pt 1)

Patanjali on the Energy Body:
Monitoring and Modulating the Flow of Prana in Yoga Practice

How can we learn to feel, see and act from the energy body, where the quality of the flow carries so much information? As far a bio-mechanics are concerned, specifically the action of muscles and bones, we want to, as Ken Wilbur would say, transcend and include. Working from the energy level refines the bio-mechanics because it dives into the cellular and organ support underlying the muscles and bones. We want to feel organic, in movement and stillness, not mechanical. There are three principles we can draw upon from yoga to help us find our way here.

Step 1: II – 46: sthira sukham asanam
Patanjali gives us a huge clue, one that is the foundation of all life forms, including the human. How does life balance stability with mobility? Stability without mobility is rigidity or stagnation. Mobility without stability is chaos, and although some chaotic states can be a very powerful way of shaking up stagnation, a return to some level of order is essential for life processes. When stability and mobility work as a single intelligence we have creation and the emergence and unfolding of the Universe.

What does it feel like when a body is both stable and mobile? What does it look like? Aren’t these two contradictory? As students and teachers of a somatic discipline like hatha yoga, these questions are key. We all know this intuitively, as this intelligence is already embedded in the cells, organs and blood flow, but we often forget, or get distracted from feeling directly by various thoughts, ideas and beliefs. We must learn to trust our instincts and our inner capacity to know. We must expand our capacity to perceive energy flow in the body/mind and begin to discriminate between healthy and unhealthy actions. When our organs of perception, and our intelligence are linked with the organs of action in a yoga posture or exploration, that is known as samyama, or samadhi in action.

If we watch highly skilled athletes , we can learn to see ‘sthira sukham‘ in action. This trains the eyes as well as our mirror neurons. Athletes have to be able to move, sometimes suddenly, and often in complex ways. They have to be able to change direction fluidly while tracking the world around them, and still maintain balance and control of the body. Their actions have to be integral to the changing environment that surrounds them, as well as the changing internal environment of the body. In endeavors like surfing or skiing, the body is relaxed and responsive to the flow of the wave or slope. In others, you are responding the the movement of a ball and opponents. In all of these, transitions, where one type of stability shifts to another,  determine the quality of the flow. If you lack stability, you lose you balance. If you lack mobility you get stuck. Your transitions are awkward or non-existent.

The term ‘stability’ here refers to the capacity of the body/mind to retain it’s integrity while undergoing constant change. Integrity, the state of being integral, means operating as a single whole individual, even while arms and legs and torso may be required to move differently. In yoga it is the buddhi, the ‘organ’ of intelligence. (The buddhi is an ‘energy body organ’, not a physical body organ, although neurons are certainly involved.)

How does this relate to hatha yoga ?

Step 2:  We add another clue from Patanjali, the gunas, discussed in the Sadhana Pada . These are the three qualities of energy know as tamas, rajas and sattva. Tamas is the tendency to remain the same, or Isaac Newton’s inertia of rest. Rajas is the tendency to keep moving, Newton’s inertia of motion, and sattva is the state of perfect balance,  where movement and stability support each other, rather than conflict with each other. This the fundamental balance of the universe at all levels. When tamas is not in balance, stability becomes stagnation or dullness. When rajas is out of balance, mobility becomes instability or chaos. But when these are in balance, there is harmony. This is our goal in yoga. To facilitate harmony in mind and body, spirit and soul, movement and stillness.

a15a4a17c813cf40-kilmu_s_a122_2_35The automobile is a useful metaphor for this. Tamas / stability think brake pedal. Rajas / movement think gas pedal. If we need to stop, we smoothly (sattva) release the gas and add the brake. If we need to accelerate, we smoothly release the brake and add gas. It is a dance between the two possibilities. The Taoists call this the balance of yin and yang.

In time, we begin to recognize the difference between an organic state of stability (desirable!) and rigidity (the brake is locked on and won’t let go), or stagnation (the engine is turned off and won’t respond): (undesirable!!) We begin to recognize the smooth use of both pedals, speeding up or backing off to respond the the environment (desirable!) versus the sudden starts and stops that create a jerky feeling. This is true in both movement and stillness.

Patanjali’s very first two practices, given in  I-12,  abhyasa vairagyabhyam tan nirodhah, teaches about monitoring and modulating how we utilize our innate energies at all levels of our existence. Abhyasa is the conscious and deliberate movement of energy into actions that are desirable for health and awakening. It is continuously stabilizing our integrity as we grow and learn, enabling us to move through the next levels of the awakening without getting lost. Vairagyam involves consciously and deliberately removing or withdrawing energy from habits and patterns that are either no longer effective, or downright harmful. These practices work together as a single process of the intelligence, the buddhi. This true in all aspects of life.

Step 3: Now, to bring it into a fully embodied experience, we discover that what may appear to be opposite actions can actually be felt and experienced as a single ongoing get-attachmentflow. Patanjali says in II- 48, tato dvandvaanabhi-ghaatah; then the pairs of opposites resolve into wholeness. In asana, we discover this at the fulcrum or balance point between two movements or structures. Here in ardha chandrasana, the left of standing leg creates a center line of support from which the back leg extending through the foot, exactly balances the torso extending in the opposite direction. Also her left arm balances the action of the right arm, the tail balances the head etc. To come out of the pose, a major transition, she will begin by grounding a bit more of her energy through her left leg and foot (abhyasa), begin bending her knee just a bit to extend the energy forward and then from the top of the fulcrum in the pelvis balance by reaching back and down with the leg and foot while the torso moves forward and up. She can transition to trikonasana or, even more fun, a one leg tadasana with the back leg bending into the chest.

IMG_8006 In this variation of supported bridge pose, the block provides a fulcrum to balance the weight and action of the legs with that of the torso and arms. At a more subtle level, each finger and toe can change the energy field, and then we can add kidneys, liver, bladder, heart and more as organizing centers of perception and action. Where in the organic field of the body, in the living matrix of fluid and connective tissue, is there freedom, vibrancy, aliveness, harmony, balance, bliss? Where is there dullness, unconsciousness, thickness, denseness? Where is there aggression, overacting, overly gripping the muscles? Can I move the energies around, through actions of feet, legs, kidneys, liver, arms, fingers, eyes, ears, tongue, skin, integrated through intelligence, to build more harmony (sattva) and less dullness, less aggression.

IMG_7948Sliding and Gliding: Option 1
In standing poses, we need to feel that we are in balance, moving in, moving out, or sustaining the pose. As in ardha chandrasana above, there is usually one leg that carries more weight and more grounding energy than the other. They may have to shift. IMG_7949IMG_7950Here is a simple way to play with this. Start on one leg with the other knee bent into the chest. Sitting into the standing leg to ground more completely, begin the extend the bent leg sideways, downward and slightly backward, with a slight internal rotation to keep the DFL (Deep Front Line) engaged. When the leg lands, balance the weight evenly between the two feet. From here you can either shift the weight back to the first leg, or shift to the landing leg and bring the original standing leg to the chest. Reverse.

Option 2:  Starting from the same position, extend the leg but do not land, and bring the leg right back to position 1. The weight stays grounded through the same leg all the time. Feel elastic as the legs move.
Option 3: Same as option 2, only alternate legs, so the return leg doesn’t come back to the chest, but becomes the new grounding leg. The legs are probably quite different in their capacities to move and support you.

IMG_0434 (1)Refining the Articulation of the Arms: Here we play with the Handdvandvas, the opposite actions to further differentiate the various bones of the hands, arms and shoulders. This will help refine both action and perception throughout the area. There are many steps, but the basic action remains the same all the way through.

To start, find the tips of the fingers, the bones furthest away from the body, as they press the wall. Keep them pressing the wall as all the other bones including torso release away from the wall. From this double action, feel arm-bones-anatomythe first set of joints joints opening as perception, as space. Next, add the next set of phalanges. From the second joints, extend into the wall, and release all other bones away from the wall. Feel the spaces opening. 3: Third set of phalanges now join all phalanges to press the wall, all others away. 4. Add metacarpals. 5. Add first row of carpals. 6. Add second row of carpals. 7. Add radius, but not ulna!A00222F01 Radius and all other bones of hand to wall, ulna and all others away. 8. Add ulna, open elbow. 9. Add humerus, open shoulder joint. 10. Add scapula to open AC joint. 11. Add collar bone to open sterno-clavicular joint. 12 Add sternum to awaken ribs. 13. Add ribs to find lungs and heart. This whole process will take 10 minutes or more, especially in the beginning, when it is all new. And that is just one side! After some practice, you will be able to open all the gates more quickly.

Before you do you second side, take time to feel how different the two sides are. Notice quality as well as quantity of sensation/perception and insight. Again, before you do your second side, try dog pose and follow the connections throughout the body.

In part 2, we will look at energy from the big or cosmic perspective by exploring balance from the seven sacred directions, North, South, East and West, Above, Below and the Center.