Dissolving the Black Vice

I'm leading a workshop in a few weeks at a local yoga school on the art of falling - ukemi.  I've got the technical details pretty much lined out - what were going to be doing for about how long.  But I've been pondering how to tell the story... how to explain what falling has to do with yoga and why a yoga practitioner might want to be interested in the input of a martial artist.

Then all of a sudden, I got some input from a couple of my aikido buddies.   Its funny how ideas swirl around, almost as if in some sort of collective consciousness, cropping up here and there in different forms.  One of my teachers posted a short lesson about the nature of balance and unbalance,  and he closed it with this (paraphrased) idea...

When placed in assymetrry, and held there, falls naturally occur.

Seems pretty straightforward.  No big stretch there.  But, phrased that way, that idea coalesced with something I've been tumbling in my mind.  That is...

The desire to refuse to fall creates a Black Vice that crushes your mind, body, and spirit.

When placed in assymetry and held there... whatever is holding you there creates one arm of the vice.  The other is created by your desire not to fall.  Just like a rock wall reflects the heat of a campfire, amplifying it for someone sitting by the fire, the two walls of the Black Vice reflect the energy and fear of your desire, focusing and intensifying it.

You have to stand here...but you can't... you need to fall... but you can't... so you have to stand here... but you can't...have to... dare not...can't.... must... need... can't...

And by this time you have been run over and don't even know it because you're so confused and broken.

So, I'm thinking about this, and another nice tidbit pops up from a buddy that went to a seminar and came back talking about how there must be absolutely no resistance to falling because that urgent desire to remain standing hijacks your mind and prevents aiki from ever happening.

The aikido solution - when placed in assymetry,  go that direction with no resistance...

The yoga solution - when placed in assymetry, stand there until your mind goes quiet...

Both are effective ways for dissolving the Black Vice.

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