Your rib cage needs to press into the ball and the Yoga poses runners stretch back of your head drops into your fingertips. Your gaze focuses forward. Widen the space Yoga poses runners stretch between your tight shoulder blades and encourage your rib cage to close and lower to meet your pelvis. Side Lying over Ball This is one of the trickiest positions to get used to. The trunk is used to flexing and extending in daily activities, but not used to bending laterally. The muscles surrounding the rib cage become tight and lose the elasticity for side bending, as well as rotating. By the way, spinal rotation is the only movement of the spine that actually nourishes it. This is why rotations are the basic elements in yoga and in my ball work too! So, to get set up in a side lying position over the ball, hug the ball into one hip with the elbow of the arm that’s on the ball pointing up to the ceiling.
Inspired by Chinese alchemy there arose in India about 800AD an alchemist discourse. The Siddhas also became inspired by alchemy and tried accordingly to attain immortality and perfection through developing alchemist skills. They already had a practice of kaya-sadhana -body cultivationâ – which fitted well with alchemy. Here the Siddhas cultivated the body into pure spirit . Alchemy – a physical discourse – now became mixed with the Siddhas’ spiritual rituals of body cultivation. As an alchemist could transform metals into gold, so the Siddhas wanted to transform the body into divinity. Accordingly, they had a motto: as in metal so in body â – the body could be transformed and refined as one could do with metal. Thus among the Siddhas there was no sharp distinction between the physical and the divine.
By mastering the alchemical transforming skills, they believed that they could turn mercury, which was otherwise poisonous for humans, into nectar – life elixir – giving them immortality. It was well-established in India to visualise life as fluids – life fluids’ (rasa): life was imagined as nectars streaming through the body keeping it alive. The Siddhas merged their alchemist discourse with this life fluid (rasa) discourse.299
So we can observe how the Siddhas amalgamated several discourses: body cultivation/ transformation, alchemy, fluidity/nectar as images of life forces/vitality, divinisation of body forces/polarities, ecstatic god experiences etc. These ideas about vital fluid forces were expanded into a radical new discourse about the subtle body as an instrument for perfectionâ (siddhi), says White. It was this subtle body – subtle but still physical and tangible – which would become the locus of the practices of hatha-yoga.
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