Spirals, Circles and Asana
Updated: Oct 23, 2019
My background in asana adheres to the application of strict alignment, I thought of it as the 'way', the only way to practice.
In 2015 the universe dished out a vital lesson leading me to fundamentally change the way I had been practising and teaching for the past 30 years. Myself and my son were involved in a non-fault near fatal car accident; a car jumped red lights and hit us head on at approximately 85 mph. I hit a wall head on and my car was crushed like a tin can with us inside. It was a hit and run and the other driver legged it from the scene of the accident!
Amazingly, we both came out of the accident without a scratch - the doctors were amazed we survived and advised it would take 18 months to 2 years before I had full mobility. They concluded that 'possibly' due to yoga my body had relaxed and 'absorbed' the impact. My muscles were literally stuck in multiple knots, I could hardly move and I was in a huge amount of pain.
It was difficult to get through more that 15 minutes of my usual daily practice and a struggle to move without pain, lining up the precise alignment that I was habituated in was now a problem.
I began to integrate spiral based movements using circular and somatic transitions between asanas and to enter and exit asanas. I soon began to experience a huge release In my muscular and nervous systems, it was if I could feel everything literally 'unwinding', my full mobility returned within 6 months.
I knew it was the circular and somatic movements that had initiated my quick recovery, I developed some asana sequences based on the spiral as the origin. Using the centre of the spiral as the point from which the body (spiralled) moved out from in time and space.
This led me to a deeper observation of the micro structures present in the body; muscles, bones, cells, fascia, organs even atoms are all circular and spiral forms. My observations and explorations broadened and I was noticing the spiral form in almost every natural and organic structure.
I now see direct connections between body, asana, spiral, mandala and cosmos. I continue to explore this topic through experimental practice, teaching and study and I now teach spiral asana in my classes. Feedback has been encouraging, some people are experiencing long term muscular problems dissolving fairly quickly. Some have commented on the circular transitions facilitating a freedom in the movement providing an holistic release as mind and emotion unwind too.
AtYoga run a range of workshops on Spirals in Asana, these workshops provide a structure and framework for exploring the spiral as the origin of movement specifically in asana. The workshops bring a creative approach to using circular transitions between asana and implementing circular and spiral somatic movement to initiate a deep release in the muscular and connective tissue systems. We explore using the format of the Mandala as the basis for krama vinyasa in practice planning and journey into practices that explore the subtle presence of the spiral form in breath, sound and energy. Keep an eye out on the Up and Coming Events page for the dates of the next AtYoga Spiral Workshop - Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.