Shala Practice

A deeper connection with ourselves

A deeper connection with ourselves is represented by this image of an octopus.

The Inner Shala practice is an interpretation of traditional yoga, interwoven with embodiment practices, drawing inspiration from mystical exploration, Tai Chi, and Qigong. This holistic approach aims to reconnect individuals with their innate body movements and energy flows. 

In the context of contemporary sedentary habits, our intentional movement flows seek to enhance sensory awareness and responsiveness to our body’s needs, unveiling untapped strengths. By drawing parallels to the intuitive movements observed in infants, our practice strives to revive a playful and fluid engagement with our bodies. 

A deeper connection with ourselves through metaphor

Through the use of metaphorical guides, such as Baby Hands & Pinky Moons, Inner Octopus, and Outer Hips, Tongues & Tails, we facilitate a deeper understanding of our anatomical connections and energy pathways. These metaphors serve as catalysts for a transformative journey towards a deeper connection with ourselves.

Baby Hands & Pinky Moons  

Baby hands and Pinky Moons characterize the way we establish connection with the mat during poses like downward facing dog and hands and knees.  

We initiate by gently positioning our hands onto the mat, allowing them to settle naturally, devoid of tension, creating a subtle cave in the palm and the base of the index fingers.  

These gentle hand placements, known as Baby Hands, mirror the exploratory nature of toddlers—delicate, inquisitive, and self-assured.  Aligning our hands in this manner forms a crescent moon shape at the base of the pinky finger, tracing along the outer edge of the hand to the initial point at the base of the thumb, giving rise to what we call the Pinky Moon.

Aligning our hands along these outer borders enhances our stability and strength, supporting a seamless flow of energy from our fingertips through our arms to our outer shoulder blades.  

In poses such as downward facing dog, placing our hands flat on the mat can result in the accumulation of tension. Although this may not become immediately obvious, this tension gradually migrates up our arms to our neck and shoulders, potentially tightening our poses and limiting our range of motion over time.

Awareness of our Baby Hands and Pinky Moon not only stabilizes our poses but also alleviates tension buildup within our bodies. Embracing movements guided by Baby Hands enables us to synchronize with the natural energy flow of our body, promoting softness and fluidity throughout, ultimately benefiting our overall well-being.

Inner Octopus, deeper connection with ourselves

Our concept of the Inner Octopus represents the innate wisdom and guidance within us, facilitating exploration and trust in our body’s sensations. This inner wisdom acts as a compass, guiding both our practice and our lives.

Picture an octopus gracefully navigating the depths of the ocean, its tentacles delicately feeling, sensing, and probing its surroundings, constantly exchanging feedback. This deliberate and unhurried movement enables the octopus to consider all directions with precision and clarity.  

Likewise, our metaphorical Inner Octopus encourages us to delve deep within ourselves, allowing us to explore various movement modalities and embrace our internal sensations. By translating these internal cues into external actions, we unfold our intuitive nature, fostering a deeper connection with ourselves and our surroundings

Outer Hips, Tongues & Tails  

The strength of our Outer Hips plays a crucial role in grounding our connection to the earth, providing energy to our knee and support to the outer borders of our feet. In our practice at Shala Studio, we emphasize the importance of the earth-to-outer-hip connection, as it forms the root of human posture.  

When we speak of Tongues and Tails, we’re referring to the dynamic interplay between the knees and sitting bones. In standing postures such as tree pose or warrior pose, we aim to push our knees (tongues) forward while simultaneously finding the opposing force by sliding our hips and sitting bones (tails) backward.

This deliberate movement not only activates but also strengthens our outer hips, our roots. Through tongues and tails, we develop the stability of our hips (roots), rebuilding the strength of these muscles to enhance the well-being and longevity of our bodies.

Our true nature

Incorporating a range of metaphors, our practice at Shala Studio transcends mere physical movements to become a profound journey of self-discovery and connection. 

Through the gentle guidance of Baby Hands & Pinky Moons, Inner Octopus, and Outer Hips, Tongues & Tails, we embark on a transformative exploration of our inner and outer world.

These concepts serve as beacons, illuminating the path to deeper awareness, intuitive understanding, and holistic well-being. As we integrate these metaphors into our practice, we not only root ourselves more firmly in our intentional movement flows but also unearth hidden reservoirs of strength and vitality within. 

With each metaphorical step, we move closer to reclaiming the innate wisdom and fluidity that characterize our truest selves, cultivating a deeper connection with ourselves as well as a profound sense of harmony.

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