Friday, December 14, 2007

Flexibility in Body Mind Spirit Integration


Men are born soft and supple . . .
plants are born tender and pliant . . .
Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life.
Tao Te Ching, verse 76 (Mitchell)

PETALUMA, California, March 1994: That very first morning at the Lomi School we sat in meditation for an hour. The technique was simple: turn your attention to your body, to the actual sensations of sitting on the mats, your clothing against your skin, your breath moving in and out of your chest. Your body always happens in the now, in the present moment. When you notice yourself thinking, gently bring your attention back to any sensation in your body. Damn! That was simple. I’d been studying meditations for ten years, and no one had explained sitting meditation so plainly.

But simple doesn’t always mean easy. For the next hour my uncomfortable body and my restless mind joined forces. I continually reeled my wandering mind back to the sensations of my body--which by then hurt. Sitting on the floor tortured my lazy and out-of-shape body. I ached for the ringing bell to signal the end of the meditation. With very slow movements I stretched my body. That eased the pain. My mind began to focus on my breath, and I finally relaxed. Yet I was grateful when the bell rang.

Next was stretching. Robert Hall introduced us to the “Five Tibetans,” which are a series of yoga postures done very quickly. They build strength and flexibility as they move energy throughout the body. “They are the most effective and work the fastest,” Robert said. Woven through the Five Tibetans were other hatha yoga stretches. Robert was sixty years old and amazingly flexible—zipping through the Tibetans with zeal. He cautioned us to “respect the limits of our own bodies and not overdo it. You’ll regret it tomorrow.”

I continually paused to rest as the class moved through the yoga movements. “Shoulder stand,” Robert called out. I watched helplessly as everyone else in the room gracefully rolled up on their shoulders, feet pointing to the ceiling. I couldn’t begin to do it. “The Plow,” I heard next. Twenty-two sets of feet dropped slowly over their heads toward the floor. I studied the room, half embarrassed and half in awe. I knew I wasn’t in Texas anymore.

As I explained above, the exercises known as the Five Tibetans are a series of yoga moves performed quickly in order to create strength and flexibility and allow energy to flow through the body. Mastering these postures, as well as learning how they developed, will illustrate the benefits of making your body more limber.

Love your way,

Alan Davidson, founder of
and author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital
Intelligences (IQs)’

Watch the Body Brilliance Movie

Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.

Through Your Body
1103 Peveto St.
Houston, TX 77019

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