Cool Haunting: Les Catacombes de Paris

I’ve been thinking a lot about Spanda lately, this idea of pulsation between complementary energies. I’ve always equated it with Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In some yoga classes -- depending on the teacher’s training -- Spanda might actually be named; more often, it isn’t but its core meaning is articulated any time a teacher asks you to find repose in a pose, inaction in action, talks about the give-and-take between ease and effort, or directs you to a delicious savasana after a vigorous yoga session. This idea of a push me-pull you energy is not exclusive to yoga, though. It lives as you in your breath (inhale and exhale,) in your interactions (the squeeze and release of a friendly hug,) and it lives outside of you, too (the clatter of the métro beneath your feet or above your head as you mind your own business on the sidewalk.) As my teacher Zhenja La Rosa says, “Life moves in waves. Everything is Spanda.”

The video above is all about Spanda, about celebrating the liminal zone between light and dark, between what is seen and unseen, what is alive and what no longer exists. While I can’t recommend spelunking on your own, I do suggest a tour of the Catacombs of Paris for an underground -- and it must be said, slightly creepy and stinky -- perspective on the city.

Everything is Spanda. Everything is yoga.