Monday, January 31, 2011

Scorpion variations:philosophy behind a pose

Pinchamayurasana, ardhapadmavrschikasana, butterfly in the scroption, half-lotus in the scorpion
For me everything that yoga stands for lies in this pose, scorpion. I cannot imagine if someone says he or she is an instructor and does not do this pose or if they say he or she is a serious yoga practitioner and still cannot do this pose. It is because what you practice in the rest of yoga protects you in this pose. If a pose can explain everything yoga is, this pose does --not just good but super health, flexiblity of body AND mind, strength, emotional calmness in the midst of inevitable shakiness, focus, determination, courage, childishness, cheerfulness, playfulness, tone, ability to heal oneself (if u do the scorpion, that is 100 % money back guarantee from me:), youth (whatever your biological age is or however old u look).

Plus, what you learn from the yoga of the mind(raja yoga) -- about mind being able to transcend fear or a rush emotions -- happens in the pose. That is not to say that I am a better human being or a better yogi for practising it. In fact, I may know of several people who may do it superbly well and not have got that message the way I see it.  But for me at least, whenever I do this pose, it  does translate the theory of yoga into its practice.

 And as it is a pose for aspiration -- u can never take it for granted and you learn to hold on to it longer -- so too, you can aspire to inch your way along whatever path you choose..The variations just carry this aspiration further -- all those qualities you see above, more of it, more of it:)

Head stand and the scorpion:
For me, each pose has a huge philosophy behind it. In the headstand you find the center and hang on there, feeling calm in the storm. In the scorpion, you jump into the void and as everything drags you down, you stay aloft. There is no center, it keeps constantly shifting, and you hold on with the sheer strenght of your sadhana. There is nothing to keep aloft there but your practice and your mind. In that sense, it is an extreme pose, a leap into the void. Requires the courage to jump into it, and have also the courage to laugh it off, if you fall down.

What sort of courage?

Maybe I am blabbering. Maybe I am wrong. I mean, I still don't drive a car. I still panic when my kid's mobile says`unavailable'. So maybe I am just imagining that this pose talks of a philosophy of courage. Maybe then I am not fearless?? Mmm, who knows?
Maybe it is not about courage then, but a certain child-like playfulness.  Yes, if courage is to be categorised and has several descriptions -- the grim courage(soldier), the stoic courage(mercenary), the egotistic courage(criminal), the egoless courage(saint), and the playful courage (child), then the scorpion is about the last one... where courage is not thought of much, and is a natural state of being. That is something to work for, na?

Happy sadhana!

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