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Principles of Elemental Yoga™  

 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

   

Axis of Orientation

There are two.   Backward and Forward, and twisting side to side.   All yoga postures include these two elements as a point of focus.   In a forward bend stretch should concentrate on all the muscles along the back of the body individually, starting with areas of discomfort.   Discomfort indicates one of two things: an injury, or a muscle tension (a muscle knot on the surface, a blocked "energy" channel at another).  In a backward bending stretch, likewise, take note of where your body is holding tension along the front of the body.   Take special note of asymetricality about the spinal axis extending from the perineum to the crown of the head (The "softspot" of the cranium where aa a baby one had skull.   Each person`s spine has an "ideal" curvature, which should be accounted for vertibra by vertibra.  Any tension can be analysed according to this curvature.   The most difficult stretches are the twisting stretches.   The axis for these stretches relies on the alignment of the hips verses shoulders, and the focal point of the eyes.   The hips in most every stretch should either be parallel or purpendicular to the axis of the shoulders; and variations on postures can be readily done by reversing this alignment in some cases.   The focus of the eyes has a dramatic effect on stretches, for in effect, the eyes guide the neck, and anyone who has ever experienced any severity of whiplash has misalignments that will result in pain when one focuses in one place verses another.   Notice your own tendancy to gaze in a specific direction, the set of your chin when you are completely at rest sitting upright, and you will see where your native misalignment is.   This will guide your practice in twisting stretches. 

Equipoise

The perfect alignment of the body is demonstrated in the Early Ghandaran Buddhist sculptures.  Sitting upright in padmasana (critical for those not gifted in meditation), or full lotus, with the tailbone tucked in, thus leveling and squaring the hips, the spin curves forward, then back, then vertical at the shoulder, which should also rest parallel to the floor, and level with eachother (this alone will cause pain in most people, and is resolved through backward-bending asanas, which apparently will cause even more pain until the slouching inherent in sitting is undone.   The ratio seems to be one hour of yoga for each four hours of sitting, retroactive to the moment of birth, if not even 9 months in a slouchy foetal state, resting on your head and shoulders in your mother`S womb).  At the neck there seems to be a bump, at least in me, and then a sweep forward and back to the base of the cranium.  This curvature is often misaligned by minute tensions that are the result of personality.  Are you an optimist or a pessimist.  An optimist tends toward a chin-up posture, exagerating the curvature, and a pessimist, errs on the side of chin-down, forcing a recurve of the last two or three vertibrae.   In a state of equipoise (equal posture),  The entire spinal column can be stacked, on vertibra atop the other, with muscle tension approaching zero.   In the final moments, the surge of energy originating in the perineum region will surge upward of its own accord, breaking through the final neurochemically maintained tensions which will release of their own accord, bearing all resemblances to a true orgasm, not an ejaculation but surging waves upon waves of indescribable sensation, which creates muscular contractions of its own idiom (its a seperate and special kind of pseudo-electrical principle).   Thus, at the moment of attainment of the First Jnana state, which is accompanied by bliss and pleasant senstation, the body is in a state of total relaxation; by the fourth Jnana even the heartbeat stops for a moment; which is quite dangerous, for obvious reasons.  

Hydro-electric Principles

Body Energy, Shakti, Chi, Ki, functions along both hydraulic and electric principles.  It is simultaneously a current as water is a current and as electricity is a current.   While you can`t "pinch" a wire and stop its flow, you can pinch these wires, so in that way they are more like a water hose.   But whereas water pressure in itself cannot radiate or cause radiation, nor can it be conducted, Body Energy can and does.  When you have a muscle tension, you have pinched the channel and stopped this hyro-electrical flow.   By releasing the tension, you also release the pressure behind it, causing a sudden surge of energy.   Several things can result.  A pleasant light-headedness, a minor Jnana state,  satori, enlightenment, etc, but most likely, dizziness, "spinning" as if drunk,  nausea, or unconsciousness, and in some extreme cases, insanity, or death.  This should be kept in mind at all times.   If you start feeling lightheaded, return to the nearest rest position, and let it ride.  Enjoy the ride, this is your portion.     

Thus, yoga asana can be reduced to three stretch,  A forward bend, a backward bend, and a side to side twist.  This is Elemental Yoga as Three.

Four, Five, Six

Elemental Yoga as Four.   Four is breath.   Pranayama facilitates the movement of energy.  Fifth is Mudra and Bandha, or Attitude and Lock.  Attitude is concentration on your state of mind, convincing yourself to remain at a state of peace, reassuring oneself of the reality of ones sensations, as well as holding your hands in a certain position and directing your gaze up or downward, sideways, or at a point one meter in front of oneself, as approriate for the circumstances.     Elemental yoga as six segues smoothly into Gotamism.   Six is Samadhi in Sankrit or Shamatta in Pali.  This state is the gateway to a seperate series of practices at the Graduate level, not accessible to laity by its very nature (everyone I`ve talked about it with has balked at its simplified fundimental elements: a mental attitude of  Impermanance, Suffering, and No-Self (Anicca, Dukha, Anatta).  At a higher level, its neither/nor to all of these things, but you have to start somewhere).   Vipassana which actually refers to the Attainment of the Higher Jnanas follows from a different starting point.  While we are in the world of Yoga, there are bodies, and their health and maintanence are important.  In the world of Vipassana, bodies and selfs and id-egos don`t factor.   They are disposed of in the preliminary stages. 

Yoga in Practice

Yoga routines are helpful, and very strongly recommended.   I don`t use one, however, and suffer accordingly.  Instead, my methodology is to use the Sun Salutation as a basis, as a sort of diagnosis proceedure.   And from there branch out into other practices as appropriate.   I freely alter my practice to accomodate my body condition.   If I am slothful, I do energetic stretches such as the warrior poses.   If my mind is muddled, I do balance postures such as the Eagle or the Tree.   If I am stressed and unfocused I do long painful stretches such as hamstring stretches, plow-and-cobra stretch, holding them at a state of discomfort for minutes at a time, to get my mind on to more important matters than my daily life.  When I am sexually stimulated I do inverted postures, ending in shoulder, head or handstands.   But when I am relaxed and at leisure I take two hours and do it proper.  I start with three clean sun Salutations, or ten fast sun salutations,  Then I segue from the ten postures into any of the 33 lakh (3,300,000) variations of the forward bend, backward bend, and twist.    After I have gone as far as stretching will take me, and have at least regained the flexibility of my previous full session,  Having done Standing, Seated, recumbant, and inverted stretches, I come to rest in Padmasana, and practice Mahabandha or "the great lock."   This must be taught in person by a qualified instructor, or you won`t get it.  You have to be touched in a particularly painful place to really get it.  And you also have to go through all the Kriyas, snorting salt water up the nose and inducing vomitting, and so forth.  And of course eating a proper diet free of garlic and onions, of lentils and rice and vegetables and yogurt and pickles is a good idea.  

 

Basic Elements

Asana Fundimentals

  • forward stretch
  • backward stretch
  • twist

Four Stages of Practice

  • Asana = Stretching
  • Pranayama = Breathwork
  • Mudra/Bandha = Attitude/Lock
  • Samadhi = Concentration

Asana Fundimentals by Postures

  • standing postures
  • sitting postures
  • lying postures

Lifestyle

  • Proper Diet
  • Kriya = internal cleansing
  • Seva = chores, selfless service
  • Charity = giving to those in need

Postures by Principles

  • relaxing postures
  • balance postures
  • strengthening postures
  • meditation postures

Beyond Samadhi

  • Four Noble Truths
  • Eightfold Path
  • Dependant Origination
  • Conditioned States (duality)
  • The Unconditioned State (nonduality, nirvana)
 
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