Friday, October 22, 2010

Outer Spiral

Some years ago I added a little adventure to my ordinary life and took a Whitewater Rafting trip down the New River in West Virginia. It was a beautiful day and the river was at just the right water level, low enough not to be dangerous, but high enough that we could have some fun. The New River is one of the oldest in this area (maybe even the world) and is known for some wonderful whitewater rapids around the New River Gorge. (Google the gorge for images, it's amazing)
The thing about Whitewater rafting is, you have to let go of some of the control. Actually, you have to let go of a lot of control and allow yourself to be drawn along by the total current of wildness that is the river underneath your boat. Letting go into wildness is not exactly my strong point. So that felt scary, and feels even scarier now if I think about doing it again.
Enter, THE RAFT GUIDE. Ah, huge sigh of relief. Here is the person who's got the job to drive this little raft through all the wildness that is the river. Just by deftly placing a paddle into the water and directing our paddling energy this guide will both keep us safe and assure us of having the optimal time on the water. Which is exactly what happened (even when our guide was bumped from the boat momentarily, yikes!)
This is the way I like to think of Outer Spiral (or Contracting Spiral). I think of it as the expert that comes into a situation that has the potential to get out of hand, takes it and directs the energy in just the right way to make something Awesome. It's someone like the raft guide, or a midwife, or a sherpa on Everest, maybe for some even an accountant. Outer Spiral keeps things reined in JUST enough for some safety and a whole lot of fun to be unleashed.
Physically Outer Spiral goes like this... And for simplicity's sake, let's just keep it in the legs for now shall we? Sweet. So, Outer Spiral is your the counter part to Inner Spiral. That means, Outer Spiral brings the upper inner thighs together, moves them forward, and turns them out like a ballet dancer moving to 1st position. The low back gets lengthened as the tailbone heads for the floor. Put it together with the wildness of Inner spiral and you get pure magic in your low back, and legs. And if you're really nerdy (like me) and want to know, these actions create Mulabandha. (topic for later discussion). Creating Outer Spiral after Inner Spiral but before Organic Energy really does direct some serious power into the legs and can supercharge the Organic Extension. And then the pose is not only safe, but wildly rocking all at once. The practice gets to be kind of like my boat down the New; Wild but totally steadied by our guide... a fun time for all.

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