In practicing asymmetric exercises, one may face the question: «What is the first side?» or «What side should I start with?»
Different schools suggest their own rules for this answer. One school claims that men should start with one side and women from another side, due to the different direction of the flows of energy in men and women. There is also an opinion that in view of energy circulation and different functions of the left and right cerebral hemispheres, one of the sides should be selected as the first one, etc.
The first position over stresses the physical differences between the male and female body, ignoring the generality of human consciousness. And the second position is, for some reason, based on the opinion that one and the same of cerebral hemispheres is dominant in different people, (which is totally wrong).
But one should remember that the purpose of Yoga is balancing and harmonizing consciousness. And the exercises comprising training are nothing but a means to achieve this purpose, but the balance indicator pointer of the scale is the state of the body at a given concrete moment of time.
It is easy to find out that all beginners have asymmetric capabilities and the development of different sides of their bodies.
Therefore, the answer is as follows: «The first side should not be the right or the left, but it should be “underdeveloped” side».
Most often it is the left side of right-handers and the right side of left-handers.
Often, however, it happens that one side has better flexibility, while the other side is superior in terms of strength. In this event, stretching exercises should be started from the side with inferior stretching characteristics, whereas the strength exercises should be started with the underdeveloped side.
Why? This is because the state of the body itself demonstrates the complex impact of multidirectional flows of powers on the balance of the cerebral hemispheres and anything else in the body. The state of the body unmistakably reflects the true situation as the total result of one’s state of being.
One should start with the inferior side and apply maximum effort to develop it. And when changing to the superior side, one should exercise to the same extent as was achieved by the first side, but not more, even if one has such ability and there is its reserve.
With such an approach first of all the underdeveloped side will be improved, whereas the better side will be «waiting» for it to catch up. This is how balance of the sides and harmony of consciousness is achieved.
When beginning with the better side and applying possible maximum effort, it is natural that this side will perform better and achieve better results. But changing to the inferior side, even using great effort to achieve the maximum, one will not manage to exercise with the same range as was possible with the superior side. And the effect of this practice will not be symmetrical or harmonious.
Better side plus maximum is not equal to the inferior side plus maximum, since the sides were not equal from the very beginning.
Having initially understood what side should be first, it is important to not forget that, by continuing the training over time, the inferior side «catches up» with the better side and the problem of choosing the «first» side still remains and can not be avoided. And if to follow the habit of always starting with the side which was weaker, statistics prove that it begins to outpace the ex-superior side. Sides as if exchange their development levels. If this happens the ex-better side, which has now become the weaker side, should be used as the first side for the purposes of training harmonization. But it would be more correct, if upon achieving balance in the development of the sides, one begins to practice regular interchange and at each training beginning with one side and then the other. This is how the balance of the sides will be preserved, and the assault of the Margin will be double-sided.