As I wrote in last week’s Breath, a Practice is indeed a… BUT its myriad forms are often surprising, and catch us unaware before we can stand and say, or do, correct action. I’m writing here more of mental and emotional Practices. ALL are difficult to show up for time and again.
Seeing, then understanding where we missed being present is often the job du jour. The big caveat is, ‘don’t get lost in the form.’ We must see the true energy of an event that sets us off, and spins the emotional wheels that require our Practice. We must recognize the old dance, and with whom we are partnering. What childhood wound is in our face again? What form did it just take? How did we abandon Self this time?
When we see a physical expression, such as shaking our fist, screaming at someone, it’s easier to follow it back to see and follow it in, if we choose. The big reactions are easier to recognize, given the clenched fist or jaw. It’s the smaller ones that are more powerful because they are insidious. We let them slide by and say, “It’s OK.” “I don’t mind.” I’m fine.”
Our Practice is to stand up for Self and say, “No. I do mind,” even say, “I love you, but it’s not OK to treat me that way.” Whatever the territory, the Practice is to seize the moment, if not the day. Do not let it pass by, even if there’s no one to speak with, speak to Self. Honor the hurt, be aware of the old wound, and do something with it so that it does not happen again, at least not in that particular way, with that person. I guarantee that when we do not Practice self-care, the Universe finds ways to up the ante and will continue to bring that same issue front and center, in its many guises until we are forced to stop, deal, and heal. The Wu Wei Dancing Master is one of our most powerful enemies and allies.
This weekend is a wonderful opportunity to partner our fragilities under an Aires-Libra full moon. With whom do we dance? Abandonment? Legitimacy? Risk? Being worthy? Being loveable? Stupid? Petty? Enough?
Oh Grasshopper, my wish for us all is to go out and trip the light fantastic with all our warts and not-enoughs, so that when we waltz this way again our Practice has grown new muscle, and our wound has healed enough to offer it with compassionate understanding for another.
Asana: Agnistanbhasana/Fire Log Pose. Like our Practices, this is an easy pose for those without tight hips and a difficult Practice for those without that ease. It’s a simple pose of sitting and breathing your desire to become more open, and it’s helpful if you can sit on padding, such as a blanket, or two mats. Sit tall, bringing L foot under R thigh, an inch or two outside the hip line. Stack R leg on top of L,, leaving R ankle outside L knee, (sole perpendicular to floor) with L heel beside R hip. Ergo the fire log-look of the pose, an open cross-legged stack. Depending on hip flexibility, move legs forward, away from hips, maintaining their stack. You can also extend stretch with forward folding torso on an exhale, but don’t drop into the belly. In seated forward folds of any kind remember to lengthen lower back and belly up and out.
Health Notes: This is primarily a hip and groin opener, but it can lead to a stronger back if you sit for longer periods. It can be helpful for Sciatica, and spine, insomnia and stress, unless you are stressed by not being able to sit in the pose, then give it up and find another, happier way to open hips until the day comes –you conquer, and honor the accomplishment. Sit and fill with peace before changing legs.
HIP PRIMER: (All of the following poses, with full directions, some with drawings, can be found under YOGA, then hit POSES, then Stretches, on the website.) When hips are tight, tackle this pose in tiny bites by conquering other hip openers first. Start by sitting simply with legs crossed in Sukhasana, Sweet or Easy Pose, or with soles of feet together pulled in toward groin, Baddha Konasana. Janu Sirsanana is another good hip primer, or lie on back to ‘thread the needle’. Placing L foot over R knee, pulling R knee back toward chest. Then there is always the lovely and almighty Half Pidgeon/ Eka Pada Rajakapotasana After, you will only be able to sing, “Hip Hip Hooray!”
Astrology Notes: There is a push to culminate under this weekend’s full moon as the Aires–Libra polarity is at its most extreme degree. The Libra balancing act with all manner of relationships is reaching a conclusion, As always by the greater light of the full moon, we can see something new about ourselves and our beguiling sirens.
Ayurvedic Notes: With the wild winds throwing leaves and all else around, Vata Dosha rules at this time. Agnistanbhasana is a perfect antidote to the swirl. We all need to sit, in some simple pose, to compose, and renew prana/life force. Remember that whatever outer imbalances the body faces, it needs to do, eat, grow the opposite energies within to fund balance. Vata’s airy, dry, disconnected energies always require us to dance with serene space and quiet grounding.