Net Clinic: The Two Truths of Binding

There are so many goals one can strive for in primary series that it’s easy to get carried away.  I’ve often found that goals like wrapping around, clasping, and eventually binding exist to sustain our focus on the posture.  Understandably, there are definite limitations to these tiny intentional cues.  After all, concentrating on postural form has the potential for fostering mental tension.  The solution here is simply to embrace.

Goals are made to be reached for, and love is meant to be embraced 

When love takes hold of my own asana practice, the border between orthodoxy and expressionism begins to dissolve.  Let me show you exactly what I mean.  In Marichyasana C there are multiple degrees of physical expression – yet, there is only one love.  In frame one, I am reaching for a twist.  In frame two, I resolve my past intention by dwelling in the embrace of the posture I create.



To illustrate two truths, I loosened my wrist bind in the final frame.  Even as my sense of orthodoxy dissolves, my shoulder alignment did not shift, therefore this alteration is still an essential wrist bind, just without the wrist.  Likewise, as my sense of expressionism dampens the new focus of my embrace shifts from posture to ujjayi pranayama, bandhas and dristi – the subtle elements of asana.


Do you experience a posture which teaches you to embrace the whole of yoga?  If so, feel free to share your story below.


2 thoughts on “Net Clinic: The Two Truths of Binding

  1. Thanks for your post, Bryan! I’m at the beginning of my practice, so I am doing a lot of “reaching” right now. Looking forward to doing more “embracing” in my postures soon! Very well written piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bryan, just recently i have been working on some things with marichyasana too. i really like how you explain that -that a physical/mental effort to try too hard for a specific form of the asana could get in the way of subtle aspects of the asana – drishte/bandhas/breathing.

    i think that a good teacher can help students stay in balance on that one.

    i have an example to offer you that approaches your idea from the converse perspective. this might get a little ‘technical’ and i will try to keep it short but, i the teacher i worked with in Austin helped me with 3 things that changed marichyasana for me and now i ‘feel’ that posture in a new way and the subtle aspects are much clearer because of the physical adjustments he gave me. i will just list them out – if i see you soon, i can explain better
    1. he showed me how to rotate the radius/ulna in the forearm to make ‘hands in prayer behind the back’. he showed me that this is for the most part a forearm rotation, not a shoulder action. the shoulders are rounded more forward than i had thought, and this same shoulder position applies in marichyasana c/d
    2. he showed me to wrap my arm around more at the level of my rib cage, as opposed to down by the top of the hip (illiac crest?) – this is made possible by step 1 above
    3. he showed me how, once i made the bind connection between the hands of the wrapped arm and the hand of the reaching arm, to repeatedly rotate the forearm of the reaching arm against my ribs (action of step 1 above), and with the hand of the wrapped arm grab a little more of that reaching hand/wrist with each rotation – like a ratchet. he has a very good demo video of this, if you want to see, i’ll send you a link.
    but, so while all that may sound like too much effort to achieve a form – thereby missing the subtle aspects, it actually is the opposite for me. once i learned how to do these things, i can do this posture with much more ease, and i was able to find a deeper level of feeling the drishti/bandhas/breathing on my own.

    i always enjoy reading your posts. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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