Switching scales

by Christina on July 11, 2010

During a difficult moment in class one day, Richard Freeman said something like:

“If you get frustrated with the macroscopic scale, just switch to the microscopic scale.”
I’ve been thinking about this lately because my macroscopic practice has not been feeling great. This is mainly because my back (SI joint?) has been hurting so I’m trying to be really careful. Other macroscopic issues: kapotasana seems awfully stiff and I think my jumpbacks are regressing.
So I’m trying to think microscopically. Things that are invisible on the macroscopic scale have great significance on the microscopic scale! The picometers of muscle fibers growing in my legs, core, and shoulders. The nanoseconds longer I can hold karandavasana. The microscopic re-wiring of my neurons as they develop the muscle memory of a jumpback.
But sometimes what I really need is the opposite: to switch to the BIGGEST POSSIBLE macroscopic scale. If my mind cluttered with attachments, desires, fears or frustrations, it can be helpful to go extremely macroscopic. We are so small. Whatever I am clinging to or thinking about is insignificant!
If you need any help getting on this macroscopic scale, check out the Hubble Imax film (it is AMAZING!)

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen July 12, 2010 at 9:37 am

Hi Christina, loving your blog at the moment. Sounds like your embodying a lot of wisdom. Love this, also amazing how we can change our experience by looking at something differently. Re kapotasana I am going through the same thing seems to be like that for me, tightens, opens, tightens again. It is a difficult pose to do a less deep expression of because it feels so awkward. We are of course lucky to have bodies that would even attempt it. Are you practicing full second series


Christina July 12, 2010 at 9:40 am

Hi Helen!

No I'm not practicing full second – right now I'm going up to karandavasana and I have a feeling that one might take me a while (maybe forever).

Yes you are right, we are so lucky to have bodies that even allow us to attempt these things – thank you for that reminder!


Helen July 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm


Thanks for the reply karandavasana seems like a mighty pose. Are you split or are you practicing primary before. I just noticed you said your practice was long. I am currently practicing up to dwi pada.


Christina July 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

If I don't have enough time or am feeling tired then I'll split at navasana… if I can I try to do all of it. But yes… it can be long!


Claudia July 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Hmmm, that is a great suggestion, I will be switching from now on, wish I had read it before practice today 🙂


Adam July 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm

This all reminds me of the short story Micromegas by Voltaire…
A centuries-old 120,000-foot-tall alien supergenius, marvels at our planet's microscopic inhabitants.



Christina July 14, 2010 at 12:56 am

Cool Adam – can't wait to look at that, thanks for the link!


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