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  • Writer's pictureJambo

The Nature of Alignment

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

As most people know, I am known to question many of the rules that are dished out in yoga.

Recently I noticed that somebody had made a comment about an event I was facilitating and they made a cocky comment about the alignment of the person in the photo.

So it shows that even after close to 20 years of practise and about 12 years of teaching I still get criticised for how I understand alignment.

I wish to pull you out of the fears of the elite attitude of someone claiming they know more, better and therefore are superior to you.

As a teacher of biomechanics I am pretty confident with what I know, but if I am certain about anything at all, it’s that the further I go and the more I learn, the less I realise I know.

Most people in yoga know me as ‘Mr IAP’ - I live by the principles of Intra-abdominal pressure as a way to truly stabilise and how to generate force and move it out into the world.

Lately I have been fascinated with ‘Ground Force Reaction’ which was inspired by Brian Campbell’s method of understanding the deeper nature of ‘active feet’.

When we use ground force reaction to sense lines of stability from the feet up, it is very easy to feel the stability of the ankle, knees and hips. Practitioners who are skilled at sensing more deeply (which is something that we train in Yoga Bodyworkers) are able to sense stability all the way up to the head.

This ability to sense, stabilise and anchor into various areas generates a profound healing effect.

But here is the catch....... it’s your own biomechanics against GRAVITY. When we marry this with breathing with IAP, we are able to truly relate to the earth and our immediate environment. This sense of alignment is more unique than which way your toes are supposed to be pointing and where you’re eyes are supposed to be able to see!

You see, yoga as we know it has grown into any other tradition that attempts to control the way that we think. This is how religion and politics was formed.

I would rather use these practises to liberate the self. This means we have to do things that are truly suitable for us, our breath capacity, how that related to core stability and the forces that interplay with gravity as we move around in our poses. This demands that we get comfortable with exploring the nuances of our uniqueness.

Scary heh? You’re not supposed to look like or do anything like, anyone else.

That’s the nature of alignment as I understand biomechanics in life, not just yoga.

As always; the choice is yours. But I can not hold back and hide such an easy and practical way to liberate ourselves from the rules that were made up by an overweight Indian man who doesn’t know his gluteus maximus to his epicondyles.

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