Potential energy exists in stillness. It could be gravitational potential energy, the stored energy of an object’s mass held against the pull of gravity, such as a ball in the air; or elastic potential energy, the energy of a material stretched from its resting state, such as an archer’s drawn bowstring; or chemical potential energy, the possibility of transformation to a new form through a chemical reaction, such as burning wood.
Kinetic energy is energy in motion, stillness converted to movement through transference. It’s the dropped ball, the released arrow and the fire’s heat. Action then returns to a still point when the ball rests on the ground, the bowstring sits slack and the wood cools into charcoal. In stillness, there is potential; in motion, there is transformation of position or form. These energy principles also exist in yoga, representing the physics of nature and reflecting our inner selves.
A yoga practitioner begins in stillness where concentration on the breath brings relative quiet, letting the mind focus on the flow of air while the body calms. Some awareness of the movement to come also exists, which is a form of potential energy. Chemical reactions soon take place and transfer energy to the muscles, which move the body to a new position. Then stillness returns for a time, and potential energy exists once more.
The transference of potential energy into the flow of action occurs continually throughout nature and also, noticeably, in yoga practice. We know that energy is never lost; it merely transforms from one state to another. We also know that what animates life, whether plant, animal or human, is also energy. It’s our basic essence. Energy expresses in different forms and potentials throughout nature, but it’s ultimately all the same.
Viewing energy in this way allows us to sense our connection with all of life. Energy is part of everything, including us, and is ultimately the same no matter what form it takes; we are one. This, in turn, relates to the central purpose of yoga: to discover and unite with our highest sense of being.
Energy doesn’t have boundaries; it has potential. Each person’s individual essence, as energy, is likewise comprised of boundary-free potential. By exploring the elements of yogic movement and stillness, we can feel our connection to everything. In this state of awareness, we can begin to sense our own potential and begin to know our true, unlimited selves.
© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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