Chiropractors will constantly advise us of the importance of posture, and to maintain a distinct vertical alignment. As good as this advice is, there is much more to this than the articulation of our bones in relation to gravity. And similarly, there is much more to Hatha Yoga than strengthening the body for physical well-being. We are so identified with our gross physical existence that we forget about the subtle aspects of Creation.
Hatha Yoga is about alignment with the Cosmos. It brings clarity, synchronicity, and balance to our lives. Well-aligned systems run with less friction. It is the same with human beings. Better posture means fewer energy blockages in our bodies.
We know that currents of energy run throughout the body. The Eastern traditions have always told us this, and Western medicine has discovered this as well. The nervous system is the physical manifestation of the energy roadmap, but there are also subtler aspects to it. When we move our bodies in particular geometries, these energy currents coalesce into certain alignments. That is why yogis sit in a certain way, and that is why yoga asanas are held for a certain duration.
We know the prevalence of geometry in the cosmos – just look a how geometrically perfect nature is. Biologists study cell patterns as a study in efficiency. Mathematicians use soap bubbles to study complex 3D geometries. Physics uses fractals… the list goes on. All of cosmic existence manifests as it does because of geometry, so why would it not matter for our bodies? It does matter, and yogic science tells us how.
We can see hints of this in all the meditation instructions: sit with your back straight, head aligned with the spine, shoulders relaxed, with legs crossed in such a way as to provide maximum surface area contact with the ground so that the weight is evenly distributed. If you notice, yogis always sit with their back straight, never slouching. There is always an ease of just sitting, or else how can they stay in these positions for so long? We can hardly sit still for ten minutes and are even reminded by our mobile devices to remember to get up and walk around. Yet yogis can sit for hours. How is this so? It is because they have perfected the body posture, there are no energy blockages and therefore no pain or discomfort.
another aspect to posture which is how it impacts the position of our organs. Ideally the organs should just hang off the skeletal structure, which can only happen if we sit with the spine erect. That is when they can function at their best. For yogis, even sleeping in the right posture is important, so as not to weigh down organs on top of each other – not to mention going to sleep with an empty stomach to begin with.
But you don’t have to be a yogi to expound on good posture. As Ayn Rand said, “Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads.”
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