Saturday, September 17, 2011

Prana, Apana, "Boards don't hit back"

Did full primary this morning, Sunday being my rest day. I'm starting to notice a subtle difference in my energy on days when I do primary and days when I do second only. On days when I do full primary, like today, I feel that my energy level is more subdued: This doesn't mean that I have less energy, it's just more... well, subdued: I generally feel more like sitting still and observing the world than participating too much in it. Whereas on days when I do second only, my energy seems to be of a more outgoing nature: I feel like moving more quickly, I feel like being more in the world. I suppose the closest yoga terms to describe this difference would be the difference between apana (downward-flowing energy) versus prana (upward-flowing energy). Which kind of makes sense, because it is generally held that forward bends are more apanic and "cooling" in nature, whereas backbends are more pranic and "stimulating" in nature. And second series, as many of you probably know, has many backbends. Do any of you out there who do second notice this difference in energy, or is it just me?


I have been on a bit of a kungfu movie binge over the last couple of days. Watched a kungfu movie last night. And today, during breaks from grading papers, I also watched a few classic Bruce Lee movies on Youtube.

What are kungfu movies doing on a yoga blog? You may ask. Well, according to the official history of the Shaolin Temple, much of Chinese kungfu is supposed to have originated from yoga (for more details, see this post).

But really, who needs an excuse to watch kungfu movies? They're fun to watch (at least, I think they are; you may disagree), and they make you (at any rate, they make me) want to get off your ass and kick some ass! The perfect remedy to too much apana :-) And you also get some very memorable lines from kungfu movies. One of my all-time favorites is "Boards don't hit back." Here's the scene in Enter the Dragon where it came from:


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