In natural conditions, each fragment of the movement of any living creature (static form of the body – Asana) corresponds to a definite state of consciousness. And not only humans, but many other living beings on the Earth, can take different forms of the body, which correspond to particular states of consciousness, in order to fix and to transfer by this semantic codes (by their own appearance) this or that shape-intuitive information about their own state to those who watch them. For example, in the event of extreme danger, some insects pretend to be dead, and people, likewise being in an undesirable or dangerous situation, sometimes prefer to pretend that this situation does not exist. But people, unlike other creatures, in addition to being able to take forms, which are common for their natural behavior, are also capable of taking forms which are initially absent in nature at all.
The issues of natural behavior and morality are not the subjects of this section. The examples given only demonstrate the universal tie between the body form and the state of consciousness, as well as the practical possibility of controlling this dependence in life.
The tie of external form with internal state of consciousness, is two-sided. It is not only the body that reflects the consciousness, but, by changing the form of the body, relevant signal codes are translated into the con
sciousness that transforms it. More over the possibility of controlling and ruling both the body forms and the consciousness state is simultaneously developed. In this case the controlling structures become a kind of «mediator» on the way of a direct tie between the body and the consciousness.
By accumulating practical experience in controlling and directing this code in one’s own body and consciousness, a man develops the ability to «see through» to the real state of other people, irrespective of the psychical or physical masks used.
As a result the bones serve as special types of «antennaes», which perceive «subtle» information and at the same time they form these or those changes of torsion fields. Each joint acts as an energy center that controls energy flows and field tensions. And the increase in the mobility of joints, and the number of forms performed, facilitates both the purification of one’s power channels and the expansion of one’s conscious perception range.
The ultimate configuration of combined forms determines the number of logical ties within the «breadth» and «scope» of consciousness, as well as the intensity and capacity of the psychic-energetic structure and process. Therefore, Yoga uses various means to ever expand the arsenal of subordinate forms.
Looking at the human skeleton one can distinguish 15 main zones of joints where the control of energy flows occurs. These are the three pairs of leg joints (hips, knees and ankle joints), three pairs of arm joints (shoulders, elbows and wrists) and three spine sections (lumbar, dorsal and cervical). On the basis of the formation theory, each of these zones has six main directions of movements and changing of there form: forth and back bends, side bends, and side turns. Therefore, there are (15x6) 90 main directions of skeletal mobility («sectors»).
But among these 90 main directions, there are a number of technically similar skeleton mobility, the only difference being that they are performed asymmetrically on one leg or the other, or on one or the other side. The asymmetrical exercises performed by this or that leg, asymmetrical bends to the sides and twists, correspond to such technically equal form changes. These asymmetrical exercises are absolutely different in effect, which should be accounted for in practice, but their technique is absolutely similar, so the complete arsenal of skeleton mobility is reduced to 42 technically different directions as presented in Table 1.
Besides the degree of mobility of that or other joints is conditional upon the surrounding tissues: muscles, tendons, bursas of the joints, etc., as well as the anatomical configuration of the joints themselves. Thus four levels of restricted mobility may conditionally be taken: muscle, tendon, joint and cavity levels. These restriction levels correspond to the «four levels of all-round liberation» (Table 1). In order to simplify the understanding of the schematic body posture drawings given in Table 1 one may use the summary descriptions of these postures, which are set forth in Attachment 1.
1. Muscle restrictions are connected with the stiffening of the muscles. Ultimate mobility at this level allows the practitioner to perform such Asanas as, for example: «triangles», «passes», and the simplest back bends: Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana and forward bends: Pacchimottanasana, Halasana, and also Ardha Padmasana and Virasana.
Special cleansing measures, energy control and regular training based on the tie of the movement with the breath, combined with the use of similar preparatory exercises allows one to purify and liberate the body of toxins and stiffness, and quickly overcome muscle restrictions. In this case one’s mobility may be increased by centimeters within months.
2. Tendon restrictions are connected with the restricted plasticity and the length of the tendons. Ultimate mobility at this level allows the practitioner to perform such Asanas as, for example: longitudinal and transverse splits, circular catches of legs in back bends of the type of Padangustha Dhanurasana, exercises with the legs behind the head, Padmasana and Vamadevasana.
Pure, balanced food, the optimum expense and accumulation of additional energy, and intensive training with prolonged times in ultimate postures, allow one to gradually change the quality of the tissues and stretch the tendons. In this case the mobility can be increased by centimeters within years.
3. Joint restrictions are dependent on the plasticity and size of joint bursas. Ultimate flexibility at this level allows one to perform such Asanas as , for example: longitudinal and transverse splits with negative angles, circle-like back bends without catching the legs with the hands of the type of Kapotasana, with the feet placed on the back or Pandagustha Dhanurasana, with the toes held by the jaw, exercises with legs under the armpits, such as Bhuddhasana, Kapilasana and Yoga Dandasana, as well as Mula Bandhasana, Kandasana, and Vamadevasana, with the feet held by the side of the waist without participation of the arms.
Special food, daily regime, increase one’s psychic-energy potential and cautious training with the use of similar exercises allows to rich of vast extraordinary qualities within the tissues of the body, stretches the bursas and creates additional space in the joints. In this case millimeters of «space» are achieved in years.
4. Cavity restrictions are manifested as counteracting forces. When deep hyper-mobility of the joints and surrounding muscles and tendons is achieved, the problem of «staggering» and uncontrolled displacement of bones in the joints can appear. The joints may start “booming” under various moves. This increases their wear. The intent of cavity-level training is the search for a reasonable balance between the expending and compression, between the greatest possible diapason of mobility range and the avoidance of body injury and healthy.
Strengthening the muscles surrounding the «staggered» joints, so that conscious control of joint position is possible controls extra hyper-flexibility at the cavity level.
Balancing the most delicate mechanisms of the consciousness, indisputably requires keeping a balance of mobility in all directions.
Unfortunately, not only beginners, but many experienced practitioners often have no the laws of harmony, and some of the parts of their body may contain muscle restrictions, but other parts may contain joint restrictions, etc. Usually, this is connected to initially using those elements and properties of the body that are initially in better condition, and ignoring those that are underdeveloped.
Practical use in training the system presented in this book should begin with the comparison and evaluation of your ability to do the example exercises presented in Table 1. This will allow you to easily determine mobility restrictions, and the level of individual development in any of the main mobility directions. Further evaluation during the course of this practice will allow you to accurately monitor your slow and fast-developing elements, and introduce corrections in the individual training program.
Balancing the «sectors» begins by working on the development of slow elements, and bringing them up to the level of fast-developing ones. After that, one can use broad-based training oriented towards the versatile development of flexibility in all the elements.
This, however, does not mean that the exercises involving well-developed elements should not be used. A balanced training program should act on all the elements but maximum influence must be on the underdeveloped elements. But well-developed elements must be used as much as it is possible to use the poorly developed elements. Only this approach will make the overall psychic-energy effect of the training well balanced and harmonic.
Only when the underdeveloped elements gradually improve, and willreach the ultimate ability level of the well-developed elements, the balance will be reached, and one can begin all-round ultimate practice.
Almost all Yoga practitioners face the problem of inconsistency between their possibilities and the set of exercises proposed by a particular school for training. Understanding the basic mobility directions and the level of their development (Table 1) allows the practitioner to easily adapt any established set of exercises to one’s own abilities, both towards simplification or complication, thus controlling the power of energy flow without changing the energy configuration of the set of exercises themselves and preserve the core of training’s effect on the consciousness.
Such adaptation may be realized in both independently performed sets of exercises, and in the exercises proposed at group training classes.
Of course, in-group training, fast adaptation is only possible with sufficient experience and free use of this adaptation system.
Besides the use of Table 1 allows to construct individual training programs that include all the main joint mobility directions, without omitting any of the important psychic-energy controls. In order to make these programs perfect it/is necessary to accumulate practical experience and knowledge about the effect of particular Asanas and their sequences on the psychic-energy structure.
Since these elements of the body are intertwined, action on any joint will result in action on an adjacent joint. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to exert selective influence on a joint or a section of the spine independent of the adjacent body elements, or with the help of particular exercises to affect only separate parts of the body corresponding to any energy centers. So, for example, bending the knee inside in «Half-Lotus» causes a simultaneous outward turning of the hip; when the first leg is drawn foreword in the longitudinal split, the second leg is drawn backwards simultaneously; or during the back bend, the dorsal section usually implies that the back is also arched in the cervical or lumbar sections of the spine. On one hand this is a drawback, but on the other hand, in real practice, this allows to use a much smaller number of basic exercises if compared to their aggregate number, as presented in Table 1. This reduces overall training time without cutting the efficiency of the impact of training in all main mobility directions.
At the same time real training exercises often contain multiple varieties of similar forms on the same complexity level, differing in minor secondary details or just in the positions of these forms in the dimensional space.