Monday, September 2, 2013

Syncing Up

The following article was sourced from blog entries by writers and yoga teachers Scott Lewicki and Danny Arguetty, with a little bit of editing from me:

First, check out this video.  If you don’t have a clue what this has to do what this all has to do with yoga, read on…

A grid of metronomes all start with different timings, creating a cacaphony of rhythms, then ever so slowly (over a period of about two minutes) become synchronized, beating together almost like magic. The ultimate process of bringing all of these oscillators into synchronization is called entrainment.

Entrainment describes a phenomenon whereby two rhythmic processes interact with each other in such a way that they adjust towards and eventually “lock in” to a common periodicity. The physics behind this is well-known and is not particularly mysterious or complex. In fact, it was first identified by the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens in 1665.

Entrainment shows up everywhere, in mechanical and biological systems of every scale: from galaxies and stars to quantum particles; from the ecology of the planet earth to the firings of neurons in living creatures.

We experience entrainment directly in our lives constantly, though sometimes it might not be obvious or even conscious to us. Sometimes it might come about unintentionally. Sometimes entrainment can be easily and scientifically measured. Or, entrainment can show up in systems that have too many variables and are too complex to be measured.

Entrainment also has profound metaphoric implications for life, the connections that individual humans make to each other—whether in society, community or pairs—or to the environments and systems around us.

That’s what gives this simple video its power—there’s a kind of gestalt. At some level each of us recognizes this.

Entrainment shows up in the lives of everyday people and everyday yogis in many ways: scientific and metaphoric, conscious and subconscious, intentional and unintentional, simple and complex.

Another place to experience the energy of a group is in a yoga asana class.

Each person is moving and taking poses in time with the breath individually (like the individual metronomes), but the group dynamic is obvious. Each student is inspired and affected by all of the other students in the class. Often, there is an experience of going deeper into the asanas physically, energetically and spiritually that is shared by the group as a whole.

It goes to show that we are more interconnected than we might think. Everything we think, feel, say, and do has impact and the power of the collective–whether that be in the micro of your body or the macro of individual people coming together–is potent.

In Yoga we create this type of harmonious fluid orchestration as we synch  body, breath, mind/attention. When these three line up we often have moments of insight, ease, sweetness, and a feeling of belonging. 

The pulse and rhythm of life is often challenging to access in the hectic stressed out modern world. 

Yoga and other contemplative practices can support us to sync back up with the intelligence of life. 

Not only do we entrain with one another as share sadhana (spiritual practice) together, but yoga, meditation, and other contemplative practices can support us to sync back up with the intelligence of life, with the essential Divine energy that orchestrates the great rhythm of the universe.

“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.” ~ Herman Melville

There are hundreds of thousands of stems linking us to everything in the cosmos, supporting us and makinit possible for us to be. Do you see the link between you and me? If you are not there, I am not here "  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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