This was a front page story in the San Francisco Chronicle. It relates the plight of a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab-traps and lines. She was weighted down by many pounds of traps that forced her to struggle to stay afloat, and there were hundreds of yards of line wrapped around her tail and torso, with a line caught and tugging her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her as quickly as possible. This is extremely dangerous for one slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.
They worked for hours with patience and curved knives, eventually freeing her. When completely loose, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushing them gently around. She thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The man who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eye followed him the entire time, and he will never be the same.
Lest we forget how connected we are, and the responsibility owed.
Asana: Ardha Matsyendrasana/ Half Lord of the Fish Pose. Sit on the floor, bending knees, place L foot under the buttocks, (keep foot horizontal, little toe on ground) or keep sitts bones rooted into the floor, tucking L foot beside R hip. Bend R knee and lift R leg, placing foot on floor by the outer L thigh/knee, R ankle touching L knee, shin is perpendicular to floor. The L arm can wrap R knee. Lift trunk, exhale, twist to R, with R hand pressing down into floor behind R buttock, turn head to R, dristi leading. Breathe 5-10 times. Repeat other side. Becoming more flexible, you will grab the hand/wrist behind the back when spiraling.
Ardha means half, Matsyendra is one of the founders of Hatha Vidya….Another fish story: Lord Siva went to an island sharing with his consort, Parvati, the mysteries of yoga. A fish near the shore listened, learning everything. When Siva found out, he gave the fish divine form, whereupon it became Matsyendra (Lord of the Fishes). Thereafter, he spread the knowledge of Yoga.
Health Notes: Since this Pose massages abdominal organs, it aids in digestion, and maintaining an elastic spine.
Ayurvedically, one of the very practical aspects in maintaining health is remembering that most things can be used to bring balance once you are aware of where/how your imbalances manifest. Not only diet, but colors, smells, herbs, oils…everything has a quality that in the correct circumstance can be healing, re-aligning tool