A little conversation with my friend, Mark today struck me with an interesting thought.
"I would like to know how yoga asanas(Postures) relate to philosophy and teachings.", he said.
The first posture that came to my mind was Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend).
How does this relate to philosophy?
There are many reasons why we bow. Remember how you used to bow to your teachers in school and greet, "Good Morning, Teacher?" (Yes, We do that in Singapore)
To bow, we have to let go of our ego, lower ourselves and allow a display of humility and respect.
When we bow, we also display signs of respect, need, submission, gratitude, apology, acknowledgement.
It is also very interesting to know that all religions that I know practices bowing in their prayers.
To me, the practice of Uttanasana and many other forward bends carries the spirit of acknowledgement and honouring, to let go of our ego and feeling ever so ready and comfortable to bow down whenever necessary.
The art of human expression is so amusing and scientific to me.
Forward bending has a calming effect on the mind and backward bending stimulates the nervous system.
Although staying clam might sound good, we have to be careful not to get too comfortable and lose the drive to become better in life. (Yin)
Stimulating the nervous system too much would also cause much discomfort and unnecessary stress. (Yang)
Hence the practice of finding the balance is also very important!
One of the aims of yoga asanas (Yoga postures) is for us to listen to our bodies as we get into different postures, experience the sensations and translate those experiences into what we face in our daily lives.
What do you think?
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