The last few weeks practice and the last couple weekends of Empowered Yoga teacher training has been focused on this concept of alignment. It seems that no mater where i am the conversation steers this way, whether it is in reference to physical alignment, energetic alignment or creating alignment in our lives. Yoga refers to a unification, this unification can be looked at from many angles: Yin and Yang, Shiva and Shakti, Masculine and Feminine, Sun and Moon, Purusha and Prakriti etc. This union can also be be referred to as alignment. The ultimate goal of yoga one could say is to align our energy with our intentions. How many times do we say “those were not my intentions” Our intentions are good but our desires seem to pull us in the opposite direction. ” I want to be healthier” “i want to loose weight” but for some reason we make lifestyle choices everyday that are not in alignment with our goals. I believe there are many reasons this happens and one of those reasons is a deeper discussion about resistance, repression and shame, but ultimately awareness seems to be the bridge that brings our energy into alignment with our intentions. When we are in alignment, we become authentic and powerful . It is through alignment that we connect with our higher purpose to serve something other than our selves. It is from this place that we are all divine.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Patanjali
Alignment describes the way in which the physical, mental and energetic body should be positioned in each asana. Alignment teaches us to view and relate to the body objectively rather than by the standards that society has jammed down our throats. Correct alignment begins with awareness. We create a conversation with the body through breath, intense focus and sensation. As we work to develop and master this art, we gain not only more strength and control, but also an ability to transcend our external parameters, and create deeper connection with our body and mind. In this deeper connection we tap into the universal intelligence that is weaved into every living creature on the planet “god” or “the divine”. We discover alignment has little to do with the physical appearance and perfection of the pose and everything to do with the experiences we are having. When practiced this way, ego will be dissolved, injuries will be avoided and the yoga practice will become healing and empowering. When we “practice” yoga this way we can heal ourselves and cultivate the benevolent qualities that will ultimately heal our planet.
Correct alignment is not about perfection, nor correct geometric shapes, angles, placement of hands, feet, shoulders, and limbs. Instead, correct alignment is about the actual “feeling of alignment” in the postures. When we create space for our “feelings” to be heard, we begin the process of waking up the dormant faculties and talents patanjali refers to. With this awareness we can truly find the answers to the question “who am I” “what is my purpose” From here anything is possible.