Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The (in)finite foot

My Goodness. I emerge from the wilderness (canoeing in the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota), and the yoga b-sphere is alight with discussion. But, since I have little to say on John Friend, even less on Tantra, I'll leave that to those more knowledgeable (altho YogaDawg's comment on it's all about yoga has the wheels turning).

I was very taken with Brooks Hall and Bob Weisenberg's exchange on elephant journal. In fact, I've been thinking along those lines all week...lakes, loons, and pine trees will do that to a body. The infinite, the finite, what brings us back to center the most?

One discovery, this camping trip, is that I am no longer able to blissfully spend the night on the hard ground with just a thin thermarest under my body and a lumpy backpack under my head. Such stiffness in the morning! So everyday, I hobbled down to a gently sloping chunk of granite by the water and moved through a series of chest and shoulder openers and twists just to get the synovial fluids moving.

Bare feet on a warm rock, man, speaking of infinite joy. I just love doing yoga without a mat, in bare feet, in the great outdoors. I like to honor the sole of the foot as a sense organ, not just a mode of transportation. The sensations of temperature, texture, moisture, and shape under my feet contribute to the practice as much as quieting thoughts or stretching muscles. The uneven ground challenges the sense of balance (no headstands), as does the flowing water (Vrksasana was wobbly), but coming back to the base stilled each pose. And when that base is having its own heightened experience, the whole thing gets bumped to a new level.

Throw in a loon's
echoing call, campfire coffee (you could skip the mosquitoes), and there's my recent adventure...

[On another note--I was honored to be featured on The Magazine of Yoga's weekly Blog Fan Page, while I was off the grid. Such a thoughtful (and accurate) description of this blog...please take a look at other recommendations and enjoy Susan M.'s careful, researched descriptions.]


roseanne said...

sounds like you had a lovely vacation! and there really is nothing like doing yoga in the great outdoors. i love what you've said about the foot being a "sense organ, not just a mode of transportation." the only time i feel that is when i'm doing yoga (even on a sticky mat, or on hardwood floors) and getting a foot massage.

Brooks Hall said...

Yes! I think the feet are really special, too!

La Gitane said...

I couldn't agree more about feet! I completely echo Roseanne's love for your turn of phrase, too!

I discovered the same thing about camping last year... I woke up aching all over, stiff and sore in my back and my hips. Oh well... I will embrace it and move gracefully through time. :)

Welcome back!

kelly said...

Look, if you are doing yoga so there are few rules and regulation of the yoga among them posture is a essential part for that and in posture your feet balancing should be fine and accurate..