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Esalen's First Yoga Teacher — Teaching yoga since 1968



Creative Commons Copyright Pam Walatka

/ When forming the United States constitution, John Adams said, "This will be the first government founded on the principles of Nature." The principles of Nature call for checks and balances, with no one source of power always dominant. Body democracy is the process of allowing equality and respect for each part of the body. Many humans have a tendency to let the brain rule like a dictator, squelching protest from other parts of the body.

Some of the basic principles for coordinating a country or a body:

  • let each part be conscious (educated and not excluded).
  • let each part have its freedom.
  • follow a few basic principles.
  • have a center of over-view (president or forehead brain) that is subservient to the whole.

That mind is best which governs least.

Tyranny, in a country or in a person, encourages the citizens or the body parts to use treachery (uprisings, pain) to get what they need.

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For example, suppose one's butt is tired of being sat on. The butt sends a message to the brain, "Get off of me! Let us go outside and walk around in the fresh air and sunshine."

The brain says,"Shuddup, I have to finish this report. Besides, I am too tired to move around."

"No, listen,", says the butt, "this is important." The butt initiates some back pain to get attention. The first pain is subtle and polite; the brain would have to have zen awareness to even notice it. The next pain is a little sharper. If the brain ignores that, the pain gets worse. Some brains wait until the pain is crippling and incapacitating. The dictator-brain thinks it always knows best.

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In a democratically run body, the brain would be obligated to listen to the other parts of the body when they are speaking up like participatory citizens. The toes say, "Give us liberty and give us health!"