Tension and compression are concepts in the yoga world, taught and made widely known by Paul Grilley.
Tension is the muscular effort, the muscular edge. In order to build a muscle to strengthen it or lengthening it for flexibility, you have to go beyond to see or feel results. There’s “give” and room to go deeper with consistent practice.
Compression is the way your bones and body are built, causing a hard stop, bone to bone where there’s no more room, its just IS. The way you are built determines your fullest expressions of any given pose.
With tension, we can push, go beyond and get out of our comfort zones. This tension can happen on the mat in physical practice and off the mat, if life situations. We can see, feel and experience personal growth or a deeper expression of a pose.
In compression, the hard stop, it can feel damning, almost, to have to accept that your fullest expression won’t ever change.
Sometimes, in life, we feel the hard stop. More often than not, its the story we are telling ourselves versus the reality of the situation. When you feel bone to bone in a pose, it takes a strong mind to be fully there, at the “end” of the pose. At the end of the pose, using your breath, you can experience all the pose has to offer. It’s said that in the compression (and the absence of pain), that energy and prana are being stimulated even more!!
Definitely needed to read this right now. Struggling with weight that won't come off, a short hair grow out leaving me even more super self conscious and all the holiday stress piling on….but all we have is this moment so I'm going to act and live in each moment. One breath at a time. #Repost @yogawithlielcheri ・・・ To do list for today: live in the moment Inspired by lovely: @jessicaolie #liveinthemoment
I’ve been feeling the hard stop lately, a “life” compression. Where it really feels like a ceiling, a wall, bone meeting bone, no more. But if I look at the idea from a yogic perspective, there is opportunity by simply being “in it.” There is room to explore whether or not it is actual compression or is it the story I’ve created. There is room to grow if I allow energy to flow here, versus looking at it like a kink in a hose. There is room to flow in the space where it feels like nothing is flowing. Finding my breath in the space where there’s nothing more to do, fix or change. Can I just BE with everything the pose or situation has to offer?
My next step? Harnessing the energy. Finding another path to keep going and growing. If you are in this place right now, I invite you to do the same. Look at the compression as a place where energy flows, where you can be fully present in the situation as it is; feeling and experiencing it instead of letting it feel like a reason to stop, either stop practicing the pose or stop chasing a goal.
Have you ever felt tension and compression, on your mat or off? How do you deal with working with the compression?Click To Tweet