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12:47 pm

Hatha in Asana by Fred Dowd

Fred in Vira 2

Asana is dynamic and active even though the body appears still. Each pose contains a multitude of actions – extensions, contractions, lateral movements, vertical movements, and circumferential movements. Each of those actions is balanced by an opposing action. In Virabhadrasana (Warrior) II, for instance, the action of the right knee bending is opposed by the action of the left thigh lifting. The right arm extending forward is opposed by the left arm extending backward. The lift of the spine is opposed by the feet extending into the earth. As those forces balance, the body is still but not static. It is vibrant.

Initially, the mind treats each part of an opposing pair as separate. The left thigh lifts, the right knee bends. Gradually, a sense develops that the thigh lifting and the knee bending are parts of the same action of opening. The mind integrates the two opposing actions and that integration becomes something more than its parts. The opening becomes the focus. That opening integrates with other openings, like the balance between the right knee and left thigh both moving from front to back. Both of those openings merge into a single action which incorporates the two original pairs of opposing actions.

Each action can also be broken down into component pairs of actions. In Virabhadrasana II, on the bent knee leg, the head of the femur drops as the hip bone lifts. On the straight leg, the external rotation of the leg balances with the depth of the groin. The awareness can break down a pose in an almost fractal way into component balancing pairs.

The practice is to penetrate a pose into its component parts even as those parts are integrated into a single whole. Over time, you learn to balance these two opposing processes.

There is also the practice of creating balance between the right and left side of the body. The lessons learned doing Virabhadrasana II with the right knee bent may be different than those learned doing the pose with the left knee bent. An action that is easier when you do the pose on one side can teach you how to do that action on the other side where it is more difficult. And when that action is learned on the more difficult side, there will be a depth of understanding that will be able to teach the easier side.

Over time, as you learn to balance the left and right side of the body, you create equal strength and flexibility between the left and right arm, left and right leg, left and right side of the trunk. Our asymmetries pull the spine out of alignment, which distracts conscious awareness and makes it more difficult to access core energetic and emotional strength. When the functional core of our structure is held by the muscles or organs rather than by the spine, there is a greater tendency to seek identity outside of ourselves and a large amount of vitality is consumed by maintaining that false core.

The chronic gripping that maintains an unbalanced body makes it much more difficult to access that sense of spaciousness or peacefulness inside. The balance learned through asana not only can remove impediments to that inner peace, but the discrimination and integration learned on the physical level teach you how to approach the deeper levels of yourself.

2:09 pm

Come celebrate 25 years with us!

Before yoga was a buzz word, before yoga studios and resources could be found easily on the internet and in Dallas, the Dallas Yoga Center began with just one yoga studio in a modest office building off of Lemmon Avenue and the Dallas North Tollway close to downtown Dallas. It was impossible to see then how quickly the yoga movement would take off and how we would help facilitate this new wave of spiritual growth in Dallas in the years to come.

Twenty five years since our inception the Dallas Yoga Center has wholesomely enriched both the yoga community and the local community. Through honoring and celebrating the ancient transformative power of yoga and the healing arts from our space, we have planted seeds of profound personal growth and evolution within the community at large. We have inspired a powerful movement in Dallas made of a demographic of all ages and backgrounds to lead more healthy, mindful, and spiritually centered lives in today's world.

We are so blessed to have recieved so much love and support from the beginning when we were just a single yoga studio to the present. As our community grew, we grew. No one knew in the years to come we would expand our space to what is now a total of four yoga studios, a boutique and an integrative wellness center occupied by over a dozen local and international doctors and practitioners from a wide spectrum of alternative and natural health disciplines. Thanks to you, our community, the Dallas Yoga Center continues to enhance Dallas and the yoga community at large by supporting the deepening of personal evolution on a number of levels through a variety of resources and personally driven services.

We are so very grateful to all who have been a part of our journey from a being simple yoga studio to becoming so much more since we first opened our doors 25 years ago! Our space continues to become enriched, evolve and grow just as all the people and parts of our community continue to be enriched, evolve and grow. We thank you and we invite you to join us in celebrating our 25 year milestone.

On Friday, September 19th, 2014 starting at 5 p.m. we are opening our center to all for an exciting 25 hours of nonstop yoga and wellness related classes and events! Come and celebrate with fun back to back yoga classes, yoga movies, dancing, food trucks, a picnic in the park, disco glow yoga, and so much more.

Here's to 25 more years of spiritual growth in Dallas, Texas and beyond! We look forward to seeing everyone celebrating with us next weekend. Be sure to check out the full schedule of activities and arrive early!