Unstructured Yoga

David Rush

23 Feb 2020

Most of us know Yoga through the practice of asana. In this practice we move the body into specific shapes to express our reasons for coming in to the practice in the first place. Yoginis and sages and rishis have argued about the meaning and effects of these shapes for a long time. Indeed, everyone does feel effects in their body and out of that feeling grows a sense of meaning. But meaning is our awareness of structure, while awareness itself is formless and without structure. Yoga teaches that our knowledge of our essential “self” is of the same nature as this formless awareness, and we come to the practice to gain more knowledge of this jivatman, our essential self.

In the same way we find ourselves caught up in the structures of our dharma, wearing masks and fulfilling roles in the society with which we interact. Sometimes the roles we play suit us well and we feel good, and at other times, not so much. We feel like we are not living from our “true self” even if we can only describe that “truth” by contrast to our current experience. Yoga teaches that the ultimate “true Self” is paramatman: the union of full awareness and infinite creative potential – if these are given names they are called Shiva and Shakti.

Once the creative potential gives way to creation, it’s essential formlessness begins to resolve into form. The forms then begin to limit awareness by introducing distinctions; distinctions cast shadows which make knowledge more difficult to acces. This process is described in many Tantric texts which describe the divisions in the world that lie between our human perception and the original union of Shiva and Shakti.

The practice of unstructured movement brings us a little closer to this primal state. Through meditation we fix an idea in the mind so that it fills our awareness. waiting for the creative potential to rise to meet that awareness. Then we move, transmuting both the awareness and the creative potential into a phyical expression in time and space. While doing this we maintain the meditative awareness to learn as much as we can from the experience, so we can see - maybe just a little bit - of our essential self as we were before we were caught up in the play of forms that make up our dharma.

This document was translated from LATEX by HEVEA.