I had an unusual practice this morning. I’d already had a coffee and had been reading about the Aboriginal culture and trying to understand why it is inspiring me. I had an hour and a half before I had to be at work and decided to embark on a flowing Ashtanga practice.
I put on a tribal Didgeridoo CD, turned up the volume and stood on my mat. Although time constraints limited me, I did the 10 Surya Namaskars, all the standing poses and then the finishing inversions, but I can’t possibly describe the most extraordinary quality that pervaded this practice
As I began the Surya Namaskars I noticed my movements quickly taking on a serpentine quality. Movement and energy flowed through my body from top to bottom. It was a snakelike dance - moving in and through and out of poses was unlike anything I’ve ever been done before. It was as if I was channeling the spirit of a snake. Even when I was holding a pose, the Ujjiya breath undulated up and down my core and my body pulsed gently in unison. It was powerfully transformative and liberating to release the constraints of how I’d been taught to do these poses and allow the snake-like spirit to guide the practice.
I’ve read how the best Aboriginal tribal dancers make the best hunters because they study the animals and internalise their essential quality. The ability of Aboriginal dancers to mimic the movements of emus, kangaroos, birds etc is extraordinary. They actually BECOME that animal.