Yield and Radiate!

This week at CorePhysio, all three yoga classes will stem from acclaimed yogi Donna Farhi’s movement principles of yielding and radiating.  I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Donna at a workshop in Pittsburgh about 8 years ago.  Throughout the workshop, I was impressed by her strong, small stature and her ability to boil things down to simple earth elements for movement and stillness.  At the time I had been teaching yoga for about 4 years and felt like I had a grasp on the physical postures as well as the philosophical and spiritual components.  I was sweating it out in a Triangle Pose with a distracted mind when Donna came over and gently put her hand on my back saying, “Wow, you’re working really hard in this posture!  It’s like you’re going in 3 directions at once.  That’s way too complicated.”

In her book “Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit” she outlines ways of moving that create a framework for approaching any category of yoga posture.  In standing postures, for example, she provides examples of collapsing, yielding and propping.  She says that most of us start yoga from a state of collapse where we are heavy and dense without much control.  Breathing is labored and shallow.  Propping, on the other hand, is often created in response and requires a lot of extra effort with willpower and vigilant attention (much like my efforts in her workshop of Triangle Pose).  Unlike falling into the earth or attempting to muscle our way back upright, yielding occurs when “we allow the surfaces that are in contact with the earth to give their weight to the earth.  At the same time we maintain enough integrity through our structure that we receive the rebound of gravity up through our bodies….this dynamic pattern allows for an unimpeded flow of fluid circulation in the body and underlies ease and effortlessness in breathing.” (D. Farhi)

It is from this stance of yielding that we can then approach the standing postures with confidence and inner strength.  It also invites other approaches than propping to create length and strength.  From a natural stance in standing--or even lying down--we can then move with inner authenticity.  Donna outlines three steps to radiate from the inner core in a simple but juicy exercise called Navel Radiation.

Curious? Come experience this weeks’ approach to a living, breathing yoga practice incorporating Donna Farhi’s framework of Yield and Radiate!!  This Monday evening at 5:15pm, Wednesday evening at 5:30pm and Friday at 12:15pm!!