By Kristy Manuel, MS, ERYT-500
Our yoga practice brings us that opportunity for stillness so that we can have that moment of peace or stillness. In a YogaFit practice, we are looking for the graceful flow from pose to pose guided by a deep yet easy breath. To flow with effortlessness, the very definition of flow, one needs to be able to engage bandhas with out overly gripping. One of the wonderful surprises coming from a practice on the NEW YOGAFIT INDO BALANCE BOARD is that recognition of when you are accurately engaging the deep core muscles to stabilize instead of compensating somewhere!
Indo YogaFit Balance Board was inspired by Stand Up Paddle (SUP), a sport that is exploding in popularity. SUP YOGA is practicing yoga on a stand up paddleboard! Practicing yoga on the water is an amazingly peaceful activity that demands constant presence! Since we cant always get to a body of water, Hunter Joslin, creator of the Original INDO Board came up the Indo Balance board for dry land training. Practicing on the balance board is quite fun and requires the same presence (without the risk of getting wet). You learn to ride the “waves of motion”, and you feel your body able to flow the waves rather than fight against the movement. Fighting or resisting the movement results in muscle tension and a restricted ability to flow from pose to pose. The breath also suffers when resistance is present. When our bandhas are engaged and we are in alignment (think SPA), our breath is deep and we move with a strong stillness.
Practice on the YOGAFIT INDO BALANCE BOARD is practice in staying present. Practice on this unstable surface is practice in achieving bandha activation beyond the muscular. When we first begin a yoga practice we are taught about the activation of core musculature (perineum muscles, Transverse ab and more). In the first part of our learning process it is usually about the physical contraction. As our practice advances we shift to a subtler contraction of the bandhas. This subtle contraction involves deep breath and that gives us the ability to flow with strength, grace and ease. I have found this shift & awareness to happen faster in my practice on the unstable surface both on the water and the Balance board. Practice on the YOGAFIT INDO BALANCE BOARD truly helps you find the stillness in motion and the motion in the stillness in your practice.
One of my favorite ways to begin my practice on the YOGAFIT INDO BALANCE BOARD is to chant Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung for 11 minutes, sometimes along with Snatum Kaur (1st track on the YogaFit CD of the same name). This is a beautiful healing chant that I also have trainees try at the beginning of the Balance Board training because I thought it would be a good illustration of the call to action of the deep core muscles that is required. Even seated or standing still for this time, one feels the constant strength and motion deep inside the body!
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