being a sort of collection of ideas, images, and interesting words relating to nothing in particular, to life in general and to pretty much everything in one way or another.

Mackie : More about Models on a Monday or The Subtle Body, Superpowers and Alignment

Posted on Jul 24, 2017 by mackieo

Last night I went to the Iyengar Restorative class over at Larchmont, Center for Yoga. I really get a kick out of the teacher. He's super funny and smart. I wish I could have recorded the things he said, there was so much information. So much. He was talking about how alignment accelerates the knowledge of the subtle body. The word accelerates grabbed my attention. How does alignment accelerate the ability  to know your own electromagnetic field or subtle body  better? And how does the power of that knowledge build the ability to somehow master the physical realm?

There are stories about how yogis projected themselves halfway around the world to appear to someone and give them a personal message, or about being resurrected from the dead in three different bodies, or materializing a palace out of thin air, or about how one could stop his heart for days, or enter the body of a dead person, or turn sand into cashews and so on. Then there are stories of ordinary people who performed superhuman feats like Wim Hoff who survived for 72 minutes at the North Pole wearing only a pair of shorts. He claims he practices the Tantric practice of Tummo which involves focusing the body’s energies and turning them into heat. There’s John Evans who balanced a car on his head for 33 seconds with no hands. Roy Cleveland Sullivan was struck by lightning seven times and survived! These kinds of feats sound a lot like the yoga superpowers that legend says we may achieve and possibly accelerate through practicing alignment. One of my favorite things about yogahour is the simplicity and specificity of the alignment cues. I feel so much more connected to myself in space from this practice. I love hearing the cues that I have come to know so well in other words and other styles of yoga. It gives me a sense of being home, and connects me to my self and to the practice and people I love.

Just a few of the possible superpowers we can work towards:
The Ashta Siddhis:
1. Shrinking. To become tiny as the atom within the atom (Anima)
2. Growing. To become big in unshakeable proportions (Mahima)
3. Levitating. To become as light as vapour in levitation (Laghima)
4. Getting heavy. To become as heavy as the mountain (Garima)
5. Go anywhere. To enter into other bodies in transmigration (Prapti)
6. Be all things. To be in everything, omni-pervasive (Prakamya))
7. Omnipotence. To be supremely powerful over everything. (Isatvam)
8. Omnipresence. To be everywhere. (Vasitvam)

And the Secondary Siddhis:
1. Unbothered by hunger, thirst, and other bodily appetites
2. Super hearing
3. Super sight
4. Teleportation/astral projection
5. The ability to take any form
6. Entering the bodies of others
7. Dying when one desires
8. Going back in time
9. Perfect accomplishment of one's determination
10. Orders or commands unquestioningly obeyed

* Practicing hatha yoga will certainly develop some useful super powers, like remembering to breathe, improving ability to handle stress, sleeping better, increased strength, balance, and flexibility and more.

There’s lots of different models that we use in yoga to describes ways of understanding ourselves, selves, Selves. Last night the teacher was referencing three points of the body and asking us to align them: the center of the brain, the center of the heart and the center of the pelvis, on a central channel. One of the models we work with in the practice of yoga describes a system of energy channels known as the Chakra system. There’s different versions of the chakras systems with different numbers of whirling centers of energy that exist along this central channel of energy, called the Sushumna Nadi. This channel of energy is a gateway to launch into space, inner space, into this whole amazing infinite internal universe. When I first heard a meditation teacher say, "close your eyes and turn inside." I used to think, “What? What are you talking about? Turn inside?” Now I know where to go. And I have so many choices! The more I work on alignment, the more I know myself and all the parts of what it is to be all these things that I am: an organism, a mammal, a human, a yogi, a wife, daughter, a good friend, an artist, a worker, a wanderer, an explorer, a somanaut… the more there is to explore. It’s pretty exciting to be alive on this adventure when I look at life that way.

I don’t know what other Iyengar Restorative Classes are like but this class is pretty different than any other restorative classes I’ve taken. Here’s a list of what we did:
Sukhasana 5 minutes :: 
Sukhasana fold forward 5 minutes ::
Adho Mukha Svanasana  (head on block or hands on stage or other variation) 5 minutes ::
Uttanasana (head on block or not) 5 minutes ::
Prasaritta Padottanasana 5 minutes ::
Viparita Karani (either legs up wall or hips on stage back on floor) 5 minutes ::
Supta Virasana (on bolster) 5 minutes ::
Savasana (including a pretty cosmic guided visualization of aligning the centers of the brain, heart and pelvis)