“Alignment is the steady flame of intelligence.”-Richard Freeman
Yoga is so much more than doing poses to break a sweat, yoga is intelligence. It is taking the time to work alignment and think about what your body is doing. Hatha yoga is based in the physical practice, it examines the body with a fine tooth comb. Hatha (ha-sun, tha-moon) yoga (union) is the balancing of opposites. For every action there is a counter action, for every spiral there is a counter spiral, for every drawing in there is an extension out. Through alignment you build a deeper awareness of your body and what it is doing. You use alignment to find balance in your body.
The word intelligent comes from the Latin, intellegere to understand, from inter- + legere to gather, select. As you practice yoga you gather information and select what will bring you balance. The action or counter action may be strong or subtle, but when practicing with intelligence you make the decisions that best suit your body. As you practice yoga, it is through alignment that you become aware of different sensations that arise in your body. As you notice the sensations you are allowing your self to feel, that is the mind-body connection.
Merriam-Webster defines intelligent as: the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations: reason; also: the skilled use of reason. In yoga your body is always reacting to a pose and you are always reacting to your body. It is through the mind-body connection that you are able to react with intelligent choices. Learn, understand, and reason. Practice yoga with intelligence and live your life with intelligence. The result being balance, openness, and peace of mind.