Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ease, Beauty and Grace. A Trick?

Probably the biggest "secret", or "trick" I've learned when it comes anything and everything in my life is "alignment". For years now I've been aware of what some may consider a metaphysical concept of "aligning" yourself up with good fortune, happiness, success, etc, but what does that really mean, and how do you do it, or remember to do it often enough to see or feel the results, or the changes you say you want?

The first time the light bulb went off it was at Hardstyle Ventura when Mark was teaching the skill of how to learn/teach the "handstand".  I remember very distinctly his description of "stacking".  Placing your hands in position, stacking your shoulders over your hands, stacking your hips over your shoulders, stacking your legs/feet over your hips.  "Stacking" is aligning.  Hmnn....  Even if I couldn't do it (a handstand), it was very visual.  Shoulders over hands, hips over shoulders...etc...  It helped me to immediately visualize some of the postures in my yoga practice that could benefit from this kind of thinking.  So, when I got home I started to put this idea of stacking to work.

Now I was able to see some of the postures that I thought were giving me grief, in a different way.  I had been judging my ability personally!  Instead of simply looking at the postures as "tricks".  The postures have order, like the handstand.  You can't skip over one, in a hurry to get to what you think is the perfect end result.  The process of stacking, aligning, balance, going through the steps, and figuring out how to get what you want is the experience!  As you see it you start to feel it all come into order!  What fun.

How can I apply this to other things?  The most important revelation was to calm down and not take anything personally, or literally.  It's all a trick, a game. You ( I ) can learn how to create magic!  There is an order to it all.  If something is not going my way I close my eyes and ask myself, am I aligned with what I want?  Have I put myself in the right position?  Can I see a different outcome or success by changing how I feel about it?

Most of the time I go through my day without a thought until something that I don't want to happen, happens!  And it's easy to just react to it, and accept my bad fortune because that's the habit of what I've done in my life more times than not.  It's not until something really bums me out that I decide that I'm the boss of how I feel and what I do about any particular situation.  It's not that serious unless I make it so.

Top photo above:  "Standing Bow" is the "kettlebell snatch" of Bikrams yoga in my opinion!  Everybody wants to do it, and do it perfectly and beautifully!  Standing Bow pulling pose is a perfect example of alignment being absolute key to success.  One you find your balance, in order, starting at the root, which is your foot through the ground.  You then pay attention to finding the balance at the three points. Up through your standing leg, behind and out to the tip of your kicking toes, and your forward reaching fingertips.  Do not proceed until you find your balance!  There is no hurry and there are no shortcuts!  The very first clue that you are NOT aligned are your toes behind you as you kick up towards the ceiling!  You should see your toes should be coming up the middle and behind your head, exactly, like an Indians feather!

Can you think of how this thought of "stacking" might help you improve something in your life?  Or maybe you already think in this way.  What was something your felt, achieved or improved once you aligned yourself with it?

Once you find the right alignment, see the alignment, then quite possibly ease, beauty and grace will find you....let it!  It's not a trick, I prefer to see it as magic!

(bottom photo is Mark helping Pavel with his handstand at Hardstyle Ventura)


Mahda16 said...

This is a most excellent blog. I "threw" my back out feeding the cats and was totally bummed about not being able to workout...With Karen Rossler's help, I worked through it, realizing that the world is not going to end and that I have been able to resume without much mental or physical loss. You're right, there's a game involved in being positive or "poor pitiful me," and we have the ability to make the rules! So cool!

Diana said...

I think we can easily apply this concept to our minds also. I, first hand, know that when the mind is out of alignment, rest of life can also suck. Bad enough to want the wrong things.....I know you know what that means. ;)

Tracy Reifkind said...


As long as we believe we are a victim, the more we become one...of our own choosing.

I regroup, look at it a different way, and then move in a different direction.

If I fall out of a pose, I look at it in a different way and next time, I "start again", and move in a different direction!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I always applies to our thinking, our minds. Always.

Viv Kos said...

Love what you say about alignment

Mark Reifkind said...

Thanks Viv,

I'm going to be thinking about alignment all weekend!