Summer workshop 1 July 2007 notesCentering Down is Connecting the Energy Body with the Life Force of Nature.
The following is based on the teachings of Dona Holleman
Developing an inner attitude whereby we open ourselves to the life force which is the matrix of all existence, the ‘glue’ that holds everything together and which is constantly creating new ways of expressing itself. Everything in nature, including us humans, are nothing else but containers for the life force. All we need to do to connect with it is to realise it, and realisation comes when we learn to listen. Inner listening (and watching) and being able to give total attention is how we deepen the understanding of what Yoga has to offer.
The practice of Yoga is meant to soften the hardness of the human body and mind, to make both permeable for life. By softening our bodies and minds we can learn to listen to the pulsations of life through the practice of Centering Down.
The front of our bodies corresponds to our intellectual, human brain which can compute, think, speak, theorise etc. It’s original function was - and still is - to allow the defenceless ape-human to survive in a world where eat or be eaten is the rule. In this function the human brain has done only too well, and from a defence tool has turned into an aggressor’s tool.
The back of our bodies correspond to the old reptilian brain, the one that was there long before the human intellectual brain had developed. It doesn’t speak but only responds instinctively to the body. It has infinitive capacity to listen. The listening is not done through the senses, but through the heart, a direct knowledge of the Life Force. Our young frontal brain doesn’t have this knowledge.
Centering down consists of withdrawing the energy from the frontal brain, face and frontal body into the back of the body to access this old knowledge. All hard expressions melt away, our eyes become soft and an inner smile of contentment fills us from within. All previous knowledge then fades away and we become innocent, void of preconceptions, as a child, clear and open to learning.
Yoga in it’s purest and simplest form consists in ‘knowing’ when to use the intellectual brain, and when to use the old brain. To make the body and mind so flexible that we can move between the two states of being at will. It is the highest form of flexibility, to flow easily, effortlessly and joyously with the ceaseless flow of life.
Take the sun: there are innumerable cloudlets in the sky. The rays of the sun are reflected through the clouds, and it is by virtue of the reflection of these rays that the clouds are perceptible. You cannot see them on a dark night. You see them by virtue of the sun’s rays. Your Self is comparable to the sun and your mind is comparable to the clouds. -Hari Prasad Shastri
- Relax & Release supine weighted abdominal breath awareness
- Sukhasana or Padmasana Uddiyana Bandha
- Blindfolded sitting
- back to back breathing into three parts
- Moving away and feeling the energy field. Centering down.
- Pairwork opening hips:
- Baddha Konasana forward/backwards bend
- Upavistha Konasana forward/backwards bend
- Upavistha Konasana feet together (upwards emphasis)
- Suryanamaska (apana hara connection)
- Tad asana -Ardha Dandasana - Bakasana
Maha Mudra (principle investigation). The apertures at the top and bottom of the trunk are held fast and sealed. Tones abdominal organs, kidneys & adrenal glands. Pulls prolapsed womb back to correct position. Helps spleen and prostrate gland ailments if help for long timing. Cures indigestion.
Sirsasana & Nivalamba for appropriate students
- Baby Backbend Cycle: Inhale up exhale down
- Urdhvamukha Salambasana abc & Makarasana (crocodile)
- Dvipada Adhomukha Salambasana abc & Makarasana
- Ekapada Adhomukha Salambasanaabc & Makaasana
- Dvipada Salambasana abc & Makarasana
- Ekapada Slam asana a (same side arsm & leg) b (opposite arm & leg)
- Bhujangasana 1
- Urdhvamukha Svanasana
- Adhumukha Svanasana
Resting chair Postures:
- Salamba Sarvangasana
- Viparita Dandasana