Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alignment is everything

Moments before this photo was taken, the beautiful, grace-filled Heather walked down this row of mats and lined them up just-so.  It's an Anusara tell-tale, for sure, this desire for the mats not to be staggered, but to be lined up sweetly, front edges clean.

This was at last Saturday's 8:30 class with Laura at Yoga of Sausalito (where the gorgeous new bamboo floor makes the lining-up so much easier!).

We're told this is part of the bigger alignment scheme, to allow the Shakti to flow more smoothly.  That's fine by me. 

I like it because it supports my own OCD need for order, for tidiness. I am profoundly bothered when my own mat is crooked, will pop out of a pose to straighten, then continue, relieved and satisfied.

Another tell-tale is the closeness of the mats, even when not staggered.  I know some people have a hard time with this, and have noticed that in non-Anusara classes people move their mats away from mine after I lay mine down, a little too close for their comfort. 

The closeness is a learned thing for me, definitely.   I used to want more space, before I fell in love with everyone in the kula.  Anyway, we're in class together, we're practicing together, if you wanted to do this on your own, your mat an island, maybe you should have stayed home?  Of course, my own Prana Revolution mat really does put me on a giant biodegradable rubber island of sorts, so much space around me, front, back and sides.  If we lined up mats touching on all sides, there would still be enough room!

I love the big workshops, like when John Friend comes to town and there are a couple hundred of us in the room, and we designated Mat Marsalls have to lay out a grid before the students come, to set the pattern of how the mats should be.

Maybe I'm a weirdo control-freak, but honestly I find this simple physical alignment of the mats so deeply satisfying in so many ways, visually fulfilling.

The real bonus comes when we can fit as many people into the room as possible, open up and receive as many students as possible, and all those voices and bodies move as one in the invocation and the practice itself, reinforcing in this simple way how we're all in this together, maybe on different mats but not separate at all.

Om namah shivaya!

1 comment:

Brad said...

right there in line with ya, sister :)