Day 1 Force of Attraction
Moving with Gravity (Anatomy) Attraction is a force that brings objects to each other. Newton’s law tells us that ALL objects attract each other with a force of gravitational attraction, so Gravity is universal. Learn how gravity affects your yoga asana, and how understanding biomechanics can help to uncover a light and powerful exploration of your practice.
What is Gravity?
Every time you jump, you experience gravity, as it pulls you back to the ground. Without gravity, you’d float into the atmosphere, with all other matter on the planet. Daily movements move us forward, and we don’t spend time defying gravity being upside-down, backward or sideways. It’s natural to bend forward.
Gravity causes objects to be drawn to each another, and it keeps the moon in orbit around Earth, and it can be harnessed within our yoga practice! As we walk on the surface of the Earth, it pulls on us, and we pull back. If you drop something, it falls down, instead of up. It takes effort to move. If we did not apply constant effort to be upright, we would fall down. In yoga we have to constantly work our muscles to fight gravity, or we will fall down.
Gravity is a purely attractive force – it can only pull, never push – and that it is generated by any object with mass. It is what makes pieces of matter clump together into planets, moons, and stars. Gravity makes the planets orbit the stars, like Earth orbits the Sun, and it makes the stars clump in huge, swirling galaxies.
Gravity pulls downward but the body changes orientations constantly, so gravity can affect the same limb in different ways depending on the direction of the body and the effort of the action. Lay on your back and lift your leg into the air, then lay on your stomach and lift your leg into the air. Gravity wants your leg to come down in both actions, but the direction changes what muscles have to work to resist gravity.
Gravity can also be used to create momentum, so when I push against the floor, the floor pushes back. As we practice yoga, the force of gravity (down) + support from earth (up) + friction from floor (sideways).
Finding balance creates ease and strength in life. We will focus on enhancing your range of motion, developing a strong spine and postures that will align your head, neck and upper torso. Combine power and beauty, grace and strength to create a balanced yoga practice.
Sthira Sukham Asanam – Asana is ease and stability.
The Natural State
Aristotle believed that four elements make up everything under the moon (terrestrial): earth, air, fire and water. He held that the heavens are made of a special, fifth element called “aether”, which is weightless and “incorruptible” (doesn’t change).
The Aristotelian explanation of gravity is that all bodies move toward their natural place. For the element earth, that place is the center of the universe, next comes the natural place of water (in a concentric shell around earth). The natural place of air is a concentric shell surrounding water. Finally, the natural place of fire is higher than air but below the celestial sphere of the Moon. Even above sea level, an object made mostly of the former two elements tends to fall and objects made mostly of the latter two tend to rise.
Much as these elements, the natural state of the heart is gratitude. An open heart receives the impacts of life, moment by moment, like the ocean receives raindrops. No rejection and no coveting – just absorption of the part into the whole.
Our heart has the capacity to open to suffering and joy with equal tenderness. The practice of yoga and meditation asks us to confront our suffering and stay the course, experientially, until it reveals to us the seed of liberation. When we move closer to suffering and experience fully, it transforms and leaves us with greater expansion and greater understanding.
The concepts of Resistance, Attraction and Aversion will be explored in mind, body and spirit