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(Posted by) Tammy Williams (Founder of Yoga NRG + Mindfulness Training Australia)
Analogies for Bandhas and The Three Diaphragms in Yoga.
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Find our more on our Yoga NRG Blog & Teacher Trainings About links between Nature & physical and subtle body anatomy. Learn how the Breath & Mind combined with this Subtle Body Awareness can change our sense of lightness on and off the Yoga Mat.

The Ancient Yogis of our time did not study from text books or YouTube , Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest . They learnt from paying attention to Nature. They came to see there is not anything happening in Nature that is not happening inside of others.
The Goal of Yoga is to harness the mind in order to see things clearly (as they are) without imposition.

Thankfully eventually the teachings of how we can steady the mind so we can see things as they are were put into written form.

The Yogis back then did not have MRI’s , well they did ~ it was called Meditation.
Learning from being completely absorbed in the experience you are having.

While moving into and out of postures (Asana) the mind can distract us with conditioned expectations or clinging to how you want the body to do something.

This creates a different internal experience and ultimately effects things in our body and breath.

Some great benefits in training the breath,and training the mind to ride with it, is it can over time create a sense of ease and lightness. We move more easily through life.

The Diaphragm effects so many vital organs. Becoming sensitive to how it moves can be of great benefit. Becoming aware of its relationship to the breath and how both are effected by stress &/or mind chatter is worth the time.

Your desire in Yoga maybe to do the fancy light jump through a or the mesmerising transition into an effortless inversion. However the fruits of the Yoga come from the union of what’s inside. Learning cause and effect. Seeing the interrelationship between the gross and subtle, between mentality and physicality.

Our organs should be supple, smooth, like jelly fish . Stress over time effects the breath. The breath is like an internal masseuse to the organs.

Being stressed or pre-occupied is like the masseuses hands are tied, and they cannot assist in freeing up tension to help.

So much can be gained from slowing things down, as if seeing and feeling into things in slow motion.
Going through our Sun Salutes or simply learning to move from Downward Dog to jumping “lightly” to the hands can be an example of how we can train awareness of Bandha.

Bandhas can be translated as locks or I prefer “valve” that can help harness energy. It’s not visible because it is not physical. However we can use key areas of our anatomy to help us explore the effects.

By bringing awareness with the breath to the spine, in particular three areas /

Diaphragms:
In / around the pelvic floor
In / around Respiratory Diaphragm
Throat centre

Stilling the mind enough where there is a sense of total absorption in these areas. As if there’s a hovering just like the movements of a Jelly Fish , or the lower belly organs hovering up like an inflated balloon (creating space) then the end of the balloon sealed with a tie (pelvic floor).

As you inhale opening up the centre of the chest like upward dog, you look where you want to land (Drishti) there’s a sense of lightness as you jump to your hands.

There are certain mechanics that help, like activation of arm / back muscles but it is the quality of the mind, breath and focus that will over time create lightness.

If the mind is carrying to much there’s a certain weight to that. Even the weight of trying too hard to get a certain outcome.

There’s a famous saying in Yoga by renowned Teachers Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar. Yoga is 99% practice. But what is it are we “practising”
Yoga involves many limbs and branches. Only 1 of them are physical. Asana. Over time however this too becomes internal.
Putting this quote it into context by contemplating some of the other quotes by these Yogis, who were saying the same thing differently:

“Yoga is an internal practice the rest is just a circus”
P.Jois
“Yoga without the Yamas & Niyamas is just calesthetics”
B.K.S. Iyengar

Maybe the famous “Do your practice and all is coming” & “Yoga is 99% practice” is talking about practising ALL Limbs. Especially the first two : Yamas & Niyamas. How we treat ourselves is what we will carry with us in our jump throughs.

The biggest luxury so far in my practice has not been the temporary satisfaction of lightness in an inversion or jump through.
It’s been the buoyancy that ebs and flows reminding us we are part of something bigger that cannot be intellectualised. But it can be felt.

It’s an energy that’s all inclusive without agenda.

It’s the truth that unveils unhelpful conditioning with a little intuitive nudge, a “return to sender”.

It can take form of an inner knowing you are hanging on too tight.

It’s gained wisdom through seeing what’s triggered fight & flight.

It’s the perceived obstacle in your way.

That reveals how to live fully and appreciate today.

It’s the mystery of the hummingbird , space between its wings.

Space between one breath and another , the hovering sensation in Bandhas.

It’s in everything.

This cannot be taught from pages in a book.

It’s the mystery of life, just stop and look.

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