Shapes in Space
Shapes in Space, within and without, Nature’s patterns of matter.
“That nature applies common assembly rules is implied by the recurrence, at scales from the molecular to the macroscopic, of certain patterns, such as spirals, pentagons and triangulated forms. These patterns appear in structures ranging from highly regular crystals to relatively irregular proteins and in organisms as diverse as viruses, plankton and humans.”
So much of yoga is about “shapes in space” yet I suspect we can get caught up in the postures (asana) as if they are the point of yoga. Indeed, in the Ayurvedic traditions, according to Professor Tony Nadir, they are but one aspect of the eight limbs of yoga, which in itself resides within the forty aspects of Ayurveda. That is one-eighth of one-fortieth of the whole schtick; which is not very much when you think how many people think “yoga” means movement on the mat and how long you can hold a posture or if you can achieve that shape in space at all.
I’m sure the Hatha Yoga movements themselves, whichever style you prefer, are primarily designed to shift and interrupt our habitual movement patterns and postures. Rather to explore changes in motion than compete for length / tension balance. If they free us up and bring us into presence, then we can more gently move into quiet states and begin to foster self-regulation of the body through the other practices of meditation and chanting and toning and contemplation and concentration and the accumulation of awareness of the subtle body and all the things that make yoga part of so much more than a movement protocol.
There is so much judgement and opinion on which shapes are which, or best, or required, and so on. Yet Nature herself has already presented so many shapes within the geometries of life. Take, for example these eight images. The top row are several of my favourite trees in the park where I used to walk my beloved Sasha dog. The others are various pictures, from a section of a human kidney circulatory system, a river delta, a single developing nerve cell and the pattern of light on water.
Isn’t nature amazing? So wise in her use of design... and of course, I could go find more that would mimic these kind of shapes in space; the ones we use all the time, without even knowing.