Beginning this category in my blog for the different asanas may seem repetitive. For my own sanity’s sake, as much as there are lots of resources in the web, from your own yoga classes, from your trainings, from other instructors, wherever… I do have certain add-ons, like seasoning to make the asana reach both sthira and sukham, stability and comfort, effort and surrender. In all the asanas for this category, sylphic asanas, I will be focusing on these criteria, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras 2.46-2.48.
The seasoning I add may or may not work for you. But you are welcome to try and explore your own practice. We all have different skeletal architecture. We all have various Samsonite-type of baggage. We all have an array of experiences leading us where we are now. We have issues arising from the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.
We are all a little fragile at certain points. And that is okay. All these I took into account, accessing my own fragility, engaging my body into an asana, stilling the mind in the process, and immersing my soul to my practice. Personally, yoga is your own practice. What matters is how you get into a certain pose, how to ease yourself into the next level, how you can naturally access your own edge, how you can totally feel and get to know your own body. It is a process. There will be the earnest attempts. There will be the energetic exertions. There will be spirited creativities. But never struggling. Non competing. No comparing.
And there will of course, be references from other sources. We can only use so much of the same set of words regarding the steps involved in the poses. The seasoning, my extras, the sylphic style, will be noted. They are mere spices, physical or behavioural, to enhance the flavour of one’s practice.
Sylphic is from the root word, sylph, air-like female beings mythically accounted from Paracelsus’ writings. There are numerous accounts in literature for these creatures – both dark and light. Until Shakespeare included them in his popular work, my personal favourite, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as faeries.
The element of air is what I bring into the sylphic asanas. We consciously move our bodies, the different parts involved in an asana, through the air; and not the air moving our bodies. Our life force, our élan vital, our breath, our Prana Vayu IS air. We use that to get into a pose and we use that to remain in the pose. We can control our own breath, utilizing its potential to increase our own capacity. We move within each breath; hence, we move through the air. In this manner, you create an asana catered to your body gracefully and gliding with your own flow of energy… like sylphs. =)