When I do not hold my 12-classic poses in the Sivananda series I feel restless. I feel as if I have not had a bath that day or something worse.
But today, after doing a few things on the mat (pranayama, scorpion, sun salute etc) I decided I will only do one pose for the rest of the sadhana..and a super simple one at that. .. the supta baddha konasana, which for me, is a really a marvellously healing pose.
I realised the last few weeks I have been crushed with work... Most people do not understand that I am not just some housewife turned yoga teacher working on the side for some pocket money:) Most days I have gone to bed with a deadline to wake up to and most nights, after class, when everybody is watching their serials or playing with their TV remote, I am at the desktop, squinting into the screen: I write ten columns a month, am winding up my third book on yoga, and in between blog for myself and my teacher, and always there is some request, usually unexpected, from some quarter for a special yoga write-up. And then,I am the sort of teacher who invests every bit of energy I have in a class, that if I did not practice I would possibly have been dead a long while ago, from the drain that sort of attitude could do to a teacher...
So, today, instead of meditating in the seated posture, I did it in supta baddha konasana, on my back. All of 30 minutes. It was a fantastic release for me: the hyperventilation that bothers me before periods was up in full force, but something in the pose was deflating it! You could feel it. I was almost sleeping, but alert -- the sort of hypnogogic state I get in a nidra from Sw Satyanandji's tape or Prahlada's final relaxation... my mind was shuffling, alert and hypnotic-- very trancelike state (though not quite meditation, but happens often, when u need to heal). A very deep letting go.. The breath was in starts and fits initially, but settling down.. It was quite fantastic to see how the breath, over its mode of hyperventilation, was settling down.. the ruggedness of breathing would come, then it would clean it up on its own .. most days when I have this issue (terribly enough, usually those are exactly the days when some students will throw a stupid tantrum and behave in the most idiotic fashion to provoke me, ha ha) with the breath, I put it aside and continue my hyperactive mode... u can imagine what that could do to you, hyperventilation of the breath .. it is like having a high fever, migraine, and cramps (of the soul) but not showing it, and hiding it from the whole world and continuing to do cart wheels -- some days of mine are that tough!
So, when I lay in supta baddha konasana, all that locking up and drain seemed to get handled: . My ankles felt immense pain -- for me, often pain is a release of some huge suppressed thing, whether it be a sickness of the body or mind:) and the muscles at the top of the thighs -- the adductors -- had a sliver of cramp slithering through them... I had not even known how much pain my ankles were holding onto, or my thighs... It was wonderful to feel the pain in the legs leave.. the ankles were gorged with pain (but a releasing sort) and my thighs too.. and when I stood up, like something that was leeched off on its own, the pain had released and with it my breath felt lighter... and steadier..
Yes, some days, less is more on the mat...and it feels very healing.. this letting go
Most students, when I put them in the supta baddhakonasana, get restless.. for them, poses like that are not yoga.. But for me this is a pose which helps break patterns.. I felt it today..
For me, these modest poses are as deeply satisfying as the tough ones...On hyperventilation, and how to handle it with yoga ( my dad, my uncle, all died of heart attack, very young.. my uncle in his late forties, dad when he was 52.. and on my dad's side too the women died of cancers.. so I believe genetically my constitution is very weak, which explains this hyperventilation that comes, for me, I believe from an incipient heart problem but which yoga,though I started on it late in life , is protecting me from.. yes, yoga pushes me ahead of that inbuilt weakness... that is why I am dedicated to it..and feel if I can do it, why are the very healthy not doing it better than me... :) read here