There are a number of workshops, like the back bending and the handstand workshops, these days, in the yoga and pilates world. They are often held in exotic locations and draw a lot of crowd. People pay a lot of money to attend these workshops to learn these techniques so that they can do challenging poses like backbends and handstands and earn the admiration of their friends on social media, lose weight and feel young.
What they teach in these workshops is a linear approach to get to a pose by gaining strength and flexibility in a set of muscles. For example if the goal is to get the foot behind the neck (Ekapada Shirashasana), teachers start off with hip opening exercises and the classic pose to for this purpose is the Baddha Konasana or the bound angle poses also called the Cobbler’s pose.
Yet, almost always, workshop teachers never talk about the secret to achieving prowess in a pose in a transcendant way. While the linear approach uses muscle strength and flexibility by strengthening exercises, the non-linear or transcendant approach uses a paradigm shift. This is by creating the conditions for the Prana to flow smoothly in the system. This is what is expounded in the ancient yogic texts.
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When asanas are practiced in this way, the practitioner will stumble upon the ultimate revelation – she/he will care far less about achieving perfection in the pose for a social media shot than about basking in the joy that comes from the pose.