Getting Aligned

Jul 14, 2021

 

Much of the conversation about postural alignment in yoga revolves around cues, biomechanics, evidence-based theories of movement, and evolving perceptions of healthy movement patterns that could apply to many different physical disciplines.

But of course, what makes yoga, yoga, is the understanding that the physical body is only one part of who we are. And that’s what’s missing from many of these discussions in my view. When we treat alignment as purely biomechanical, we overlook the fundamental yogic understanding that we are more than just the body.

There are different models of the human being in the yoga tradition. What they all have in common is the understanding that we’re composed of a series of interpenetrating, intercommunicating layers both gross and subtle.

These include our anatomy, physiology, breath, the energetic and elemental forces of the subtle body, the workings of our minds and emotions, not to mention the universal consciousness at the core.

Simply put, alignment in yoga doesn’t happen only on the physical level. Therefore, any consideration of postural alignment that only addresses the functionality of the way we move remains incomplete.

 

 

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