For those who garden in the North East, spring days are holy, they are also hell…. So much to do all at once, alongside such splendid joy and incomparable relief at winter’s release. My eyes rove over winter-white grass, broken branches, and withered rose cane. Suddenly, the luminescent green throat of the Grackle, the pear forcing inarticulate bud, and daylily heads pushing old mulch aside, give my world new meaning.
For those who observe political/social people and events in their magnificent idiocy, it is the same. So much horror and repulsion side by side with extraordinary present/future possibility. Indeed ‘Holy Hell’ is what most of us are working to balance through these illuminating, interesting days.
We have come full circle to the old country doctor’s maxim, “What don’t kill you makes you stronger.” I have to assume that those of us who are surviving are growing quite strong. Having interior muscle to find, and re-find our inner equilibrium when the extremes of ‘holy hell’ side-swipe us at every curve is a gift that comes from Practice, many practices, some personal, some universal. Practices can open us to see ourselves and our world-view with different eyes; God’s eyes/Goddess vision. This, as you know, takes constant conscious effort. Without formidable prodding we would not do it. Aaahhh turmoil, grief, confusion, frustration, envy, the great healers.
A dear friend told me yesterday that her new Practice was blessing everyone, especially those she struggled against. It consisted of a lot of Practice as she was working both personally and politically. She has found that it is all about her being able to balance her inner core, instead of changing those she disagrees with. Before, she would have been maniacal in her frustrations that others understand her, even that they listen. Now, it is not about them. It never is. It is only ever about us, our Practices to change the world within. When I take time to re-align to my Goddess vision I will always see a luminescent green Grackle throat, and hear pear buds unfurl.
Asana: Going upside down in any form helps change our P.O.V. You choose a favorite asana, or come into Salamba Sirsana, of which there are many variations.
For beginners, place your mat or folded blanket 2-3 inches from a corner. Working with corners helps you to feel if the body is in alignment. If you can, find a friend who knows how to assist. Place elbows on floor, grasping upper arm muscles in opposite hands to make sure elbows are aligned under shoulders. Interlock fingers and nest back of head close to palms, with crown on the floor. Lift legs into a bent-kneed Down Dog and if possible, walk feet in until hips stack on top of shoulders. If this is new, lift legs up with knees bent, place feet on the wall so you feel safe. Stay as long as you are comfortable, do not close your eyes. Slowly roll down the way you went up. Congratulate yourself. Going upside down the first few times can be very scary.
For the more advanced, follow all of the above until you are ready to lift legs. As you begin to lift straight legs, move hips slightly back to counter-balance legs lifting together, side by side, until they are parallel to floor. For 5-10 breaths, remain in Urdhva Dandasana, legs strongly extended out from hips, before continuing up to full Sirsasana. Just as we are aware in changing our P.O.V., we must remain conscious throughout this Pose. Keep shoulders high above floor, the weight primarily in a small circle in the center of the head, the trunk, thighs, and heels in a perfect perpendicular line to the floor.
Health Notes: Called the king of all asanas because it affects the brain, and therefore the entire body, physically, emotionally, mentally, Sirsasana flows new blood through brain cells, rejuvenating and clearing out. It also supplies blood to the pituitary and pineal glands, which govern our vitality, growth and health. It assists the lungs to fight off colds, and tonsillitis. If you have trouble sleeping, or suffer from low energy, the regular practice of this asana will help shift the balance.
Be careful if you suffer from high or low blood pressure. Do the pose only with a knowledgeable practitioner.