Our bones feel vibrations. Our nervous system detects movements around us in part from the vibrations our bones feel. Baby’s hear in the womb through bone conduction, the movement of sound through bone rather than air. Astronauts use a Whole Body Vibration therapy to strengthen their bones, restore bone density lost in space. (Ha! Not literally, but without gravity’s compression bones weaken.) As the machine vibrates, osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone, are impaired.
Good bone density is an individual equation balancing both the density and lightness of bones and including our particular body type and activities of interest. Bones are our body’s support system as well as a protection for our internal organs and central nervous system.
In Ayurveda, Sara Asthi, healthy bones, brings stability to our body structure as well as our relationship to others and our environment through an established system of healthy personal boundaries. Too dense personal boundaries brings loneliness, too light or lax boundaries brings confusion as no time is allowed to reflect and process experiences.
Our bones are living tissue made of cells that dynamically communicate with each other to create an optimal support system for us, balancing density and lightness on a microscopic level. They are our internal support system.
When I think abstractly about Fall and seeing tree limbs exposed, I think about bones. Looking up from beneath a bare tree, the branches’ still canopy create a pattern of brown/grey bark and sky.
The sky takes me to my breath, the branches ground me in my body. I can see and experience a patterned balance of density and lightness.
We can live exposed and we can bare our true nature.
*In Bhramari Pranayama your diaphragm is like a singing bowl and with your exhale you can feel the stabilizing vibrations through your body. The sound is calming to your mind and helps reduce mental chaos. Sit quietly after practicing and absorb the calm.
*In your asana practice, consider holding poses longer allowing your body to fully assimilate the bone compressions. Even Vrksasana can be a yin pose.
*Yoga Illustration for Kids:
First have all students try to fit inside a hula hoop. Density. Then, create a matrix by laying hula hoops around the room, one for each student. They can create an asana in their hula hoop. Students can move freely around the room however they wish until a yoga pose is called out, then they must move inside any hula hoop to create the pose. With each new pose called out, take a hula hoop away so that gradually all will attempt to create a pose in or touching one hula hoop.
Tree bones: The photo above is a bag I designed from a leather jacket. Design was inspired by a large oak under which many enriching conversations were had with two dear friends.