Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Temper, My Quads

No doubt about it now, every time I get into a pose that stretches my quads I start to feel irritated. Liz was working on Hero pose (vira sana) and I was just getting more and more angry. It started with frustration (why cant I do this pose), then fear (is that my knee?) and ended with outright irritation (why in the HELL don't we do another pose....HERO AGAIN! C'MON LIZ, DO ANOTHER POSE

This by the way is a variation with the toes bent....(photo from Downward Blog)

I really wasn't being much of a hero.

So here is my conclusion.

1. I tend to sit in a pose, much like the one I am in now. Hips folded in an unnatural chair, psoas compressed, quadricepts tightening.

I do this all the time, and have done it for quite some time.

2. The hips are supposed to contain the fight or flight mechanism. Stetching that tight muscle releases aggression.

Liz mentioned that Hero pose does a really cool thing. It connects the heart to the core.

This got me thinking of a story Grandmaster Wonik Yi told us.

"There once was a region that the king wanted to collect taxes from, but the people were fearsome fighters. The king sent a general who had strength. One year later the people sent a basket to the king with the strong generals head in it.

So the king sent a general who was smart. For three years the rebellious region sent tribute. Then one year the tribute came with the smart generals head in it.

So the king sent a general with a strong heart. The next year, and forevermore the people of the region sent more tribute than was asked.

The moral is:
Strong body is weaker than strong mind
strong mind is weaker than strong heart."

So let's think about this hips to heart thing. What would a person who had mastered Hero Pose be like? The following is pure conjecture on my part, I could be completely wrong.

Mastering Hero's pose connects the heart to the core. Or the physical strenght to physical compassion.

If one could master this they would be powerful and loved for their power. They would have a lot of strength. Their strength would emenated from the Tan Tien (a.k.a. the root lock manipura). This area holds the power that is projected in martial arts moves.

If I can master this pose (and apply the principle at all times) I can be cool under pressure
I can avoid conflict out of compassion, but never from fear
When I do enter conflict I could do so without anger, maintaining my awareness, emotional stability and strenght all at once.

This is very exciting.

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