The Wisdom of the Body, Proprioception | Yoga Teacher Training

The Wisdom of the Body, Proprioception

Have you ever tried standing on one leg with your eyes closed? Will you be able to hold Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Hand to Big Toe Pose) or even Vyksasana (Tree Pose) with your eyes closed? Let us try something even simpler.

Extend your arms to sides and point the index fingers forward, and try to bring the tips of the index fingers together in front of you with your eyes closed.Closing the eyes adds challenge to such actions. Actions that require our body to know its place in space. In fact, our body does not need the help of the sense of sight to know its position in the space.

Our body has a sense of Proprioception.

Proprioception is our body’s ability to know its position in the space. We do not need our eyes to balance ourselves, or move with control. But as soon as we close our eyes there is a loss of control in our movements. Suddenly we feel like as if the ground is shaking beneath our feet. We rely on our eye sight so much that we forget how to connect with our subtler senses.

Proprioception is a very important sense. Our eyesight is limited.  We can only direct our sight a certain point at a time. But the body always watches itself. Say, you are walking in the park, and looking at the beautiful trees, and listening to the songs of the birds, and maybe a butterfly passes by very close. And you think “Wow it’s beautiful”. All of a sudden, realizing you take a step on to an uneven ground and your ankle almost gets sprained. Somehow you catch yourself before your ankle actually gets injured. It is a reflex action. Your miraculous body, just doing its regular thing.

You cannot control everything with your mind. But don’t worry your body has your back.   

We are taught to use our minds for almost everything and never taught to listen our own bodies. We want to see everything with our eyes before believing it. We need to see the proof. And the only proof we accept is the one we can see. But the eye sight is very limited and always directed to the physical world outside. So, we have a very limited space for belief. We end up believing in the money, the numbers, the cars, the houses, the clothes. As Gandhi says what you believe in eventually becomes your destiny.


Shades of Yoga is a yoga teacher training company providing year-round yoga teacher training in Bali and Costa Rica.

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