The aysmmetric body is a work of art. An asymmetry means not identical on both sides of a central line. We all have asymmetries no matter how young or old we are. The practice of alignment based yoga helped me reveal mine. Anyone with scoliosis knows well what is to live with a great asymmetry. Sometimes sports injuries are also from things not being equal on both sides of the central line. Usually one leg is stronger or longer, or one arm or shoulder and we tend to favor the stronger side. The unknown and underworked parts are the key to balance that have to be awakened to begin working on creating more symmetry.
For the yoga practitioner every posture can teach us about our asymmetries. When practicing Sirsasana (head balance) we can perceive if one arm or shoulder is doing more work. The role of a good yoga teacher is to be able to see these areas of overwork and underwork and help teach the student how to bring about more balance. You don’t need strength to be strong. You need balance to be strong. Working to balance asymmetries brings a lightness and ease to the body. The yoga sutras even guide us that intelligent practice can eradicate pain to come or pain that has not fully awakened. How? By seeking out the asymmetries we all have and changing them allows us to avoid injury. This has helped my sport enthusiast practicioners greatly! They no longer suffer from the same repeated injuries that plagued them!
Bottom line is we all have engrained movement pattererns. Some healthy and some not healthly which lead to injury. Mr. Iyengar understood this and through his work of alignment based yoga he cultivated the path to overcome the body’s imbalance. It’s how we practice yoga, sports, movement that either hurts us or heals us. Like my tag line says “Move Freely. Live Fully.”
Written by Dina Georgoulis