What is 5 Pull?
In ballroom dancing, there is this concept called “5 pull.” It’s the point of pressure each dancer experiences when both are equally giving to the move at hand. Very good dancers can carry this 5 pull throughout the entire dance, pattern after pattern. They move across the floor making the couple look as if they are floating as one around the room. It’s beautiful to watch, and when done correctly does not exhaust the dancers as the equal distribution back and forth becomes effortless.
The 5 Pull of Postures
Our yoga practice is much the same way. We spend long hours trying to comprehend the framework of each pose given to us in the dialogue. It is its own language and takes awhile to hear, even longer to understand, and even longer to apply and settle into the body as permanent. That’s why you hear all the teachers tell you that this is a journey and it takes time. In that time however, the body is getting better and better at it. As you establish the framework, then you can expand and open up as much as you are able, which in the physical postures is stretching. Like dancing, the more you honor that framework and practice day after day, the more you can expand in your designated bubble. Then the posture feels better, stronger, more supple, and more relaxed, leaving you in a rich zone where you know everything is right.
Maybe it’s where yang meets yin or yin meets yang. It’s that dialed in certain point of contact where there is no effort but rather a flow that opens a portal to something much greater. Notice the class itself. It too is set up with a framework: 26 postures, 2 breathing exercises; 90 minutes; high heat and humidity; all done in sequential order with many pauses in between.
The 5 Pull of the Mind
Let’s not forget about the mind though. Another genius aspect of this yoga is knowing that when the body calms, the mind follows. Just notice how by the time you’ve hit savasana your body is so relaxed, which in turn calms the fluctuations of our more natural “monkey mind.” In addition, we use the body as a medium throughout the class to help train the mind, bringing it to a more centered state harnessing it’s own 5 pull. Imagine now that the entire class has taken two beautiful dancers (the body and the mind) and put them in a state of 5 pull, ready to move together fluidly on the dance floor of life!