Soul & Spirit
Published on November 2nd, 2021 | by Catherine Tingey0
Moving With Intention
Moving With Intention
In the spiritual and self-help community we talk often of intention.
Designing one’s day intentionally.
But how about moving intentionally?
I think this is a fascinating topic.
Consider this: to put the body into a shape or gesture requires an impulse.
“I want to drink that cup of tea, hence I pick it up.’
In yoga we move our body into prescribed shapes, called poses or asana.
With repetition we arrive in ‘deeper’ variations of these poses.
Between the impulse to get into a pose, and the arriving in a pose, lies the journey towards the pose.
This is where intention plays out.
For example, in Savasana if you want to open your palms to the sky, you can a) swivel the wrists or b) lift up the arm and open from the shoulder head.
Both options deliver you to roughly the same pose; they may feel differently but to the naked eye they are the same—both elbow creases facing the sky.
Option A requires less efffort, less thinking. Option B requires the intention of opening from the shoulder head such that more of the shoulder blade may rest on the floor.
I started to think a lot about moving with intention after watching this recent documentary about Balanchine.
“I cannot move, I cannot even want to move, unless I hear the music first.” -George Balanchine
We don’t have to be dancers to hear the music.
The music is our intention.
Often we learn to move intentionally after injury. I’ve certainly experienced this. Certain movements cause pain so we tip toe, careful with movement.
But what if we could move intentionally from a positive place like,
‘I get to move my body in this way today.’
’What a luxury it is to move freely!”
There is so much hidden joy in movement, especially pain-free movement, that I’ve come to see my job is more than yoga teacher–it is liberator of the body, and liberator of the human spirit.
A body free from restriction, filled with ease and lightness is a vessel that the spirit can experience joy…all the high frequency emotions like contentment, gratitude, empathy, ecstasy, happiness.
Questions for Self-Inquiry (no wrong answers)
Am I moving with joy today or because I have to?
Am I content in this pose or am I trying to go deeper?
If the latter, why? What do I believe I will get by going deeper?
How does going deeper feel today?
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