Written by Justine Sanchez,
Inner Power Yoga®
Inner Power Yoga® (IPY) offers both 200-hour and 500-hour education programs and yoga immersions. A foundational concept of IPY study is spanda.
Spanda is a branch of metaphysics, the science of eternal vibration.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD writes about spanda in his book, The Power of Mantra and the Mystery of Initiation:
“To explain briefly, spanda holds that all creation evolves from the Word. The Word referred to is not speech uttered by a human voice or the audible sound produced when two objects strike each other, but anahata nada, the unstruck sound which vibrates eternally in the realm of pure consciousness. This unstruck sound, the Word that existed before the beginning of creation, is called akshara, shabda Brahman, vak, Shakti, or spanda.”
Author, meditator, and yogic astrologer, Linda Johnsen, M.S. fleshes out spanda further in her 1994 article from Yoga International Magazine, “From the Spanda Karika; Extreme Meditation:”
“Every time your mind turns from one subject to another, there’s a fraction of a second in which there’s no verbal content in your awareness. But it flashes by so fast you almost never notice it. The Spanda Karika says that if you could catch hold of this state of awareness, called spanda or thought free consciousness, you would see into the heart of reality.”
IPY takes spanda into practice by focusing on the way this creative vibration of universal energy manifests authentic movement in our bodies. Our breath inspires spanda, this stirring impulse of consciousness, to manifest. Spanda then moves prana through our bodies.
During the course of IPY study, each practitioner has the opportunity to feel spanda and how it works in their body. It becomes quite accessible to feel and understand via the Four Cores of Inner Power Yoga®.
Briefly, the Cardinal Movements of spanda can be realized at the Lunar or Pelvic Core. Here spanda, or vibrational energy, runs along the entire axial skeleton and the ‘root to rise’ principle applies. Spanda feels both stabilizing as well as liberating.
In the Solar Core we begin to experience the Circling Movement of spanda. There becomes a balance between effort and surrender as we feel the circle of energy move up the front and down the back. At the Vital Core spanda becomes spacious.
These Supporting Movements can be felt as expanding energy that moves along the axis of each arm and leg as well as integrating energy along the tissues of those infinite potential lines of our limbs. At the fourth core, or Palatal plane, we move once again to the Cardinal Movements of spanda. This time vibrational energy feels mostly liberating, i.e. "Free Your Spine." A good example of the liberating movement of spanda that begins at the Palatal plane is sirsasana, or head stand. Liberating spanda lengthens the spine up from the palate thru the pelvis and out the tips of the toes.
Spanda is both a beautiful, visual metaphor as well as an actual placement of your body into alignment. Sreedevi Bringi, former professor of yoga at Naropa University as well as IPY guest instructor, explains that spanda is also a model of reality. In yogic philosophy, reality can be seen as the five acts of Shiva, that is creation, preservation, dissolution, concealment (gap or pause), and revelation (becoming aware). Being aware of mind just before something happens IS that stirring impulse, the attraction to moving your body.
That attraction is spanda, the beginning of yoga.
Inner Power Yoga®