Friday, October 24, 2014

Hanumanasana:the ultimate stretch

Hanumanasana is an exciting pose for those who wish to gauge themselves on the mat, in terms of hatha practice. It can also show you if you have fallen behind in your practice, as often happens with advanced students who are either too complacent, or too busy teaching others to become advanced (ha ha, and you know who I am talking of:)

So, unless one keeps returning to these poses or builds on them in a rounded fashion by healing existing injuries, or preparing for a pose that you have lost over a few months, one cannot claim to be a teacher. Part of being a good teacher is that you never forget the student in yourself.

So, yes, Hanumanasana teaches you to be a humble teacher. Or a proud one, if you can do it with ease and have become exhibitionist, as can also happen with so many in this zone.  There is always that flipside.

Since my knee injury a few years ago, from kickboxing, that I healed on my own and with my practice, I am a bit chary about stretching that left leg. But I also want it (my leg) to get over its primitive fear of another tear.. so I keep returning to these extreme poses. That leg, even today, when stretched can resist a lot and there are times of course, when I feel nauseated, with the pain that wells up. But you cannot be an effective yoga teacher without a hint of madness and a lot of belief in quantum healing. So, yes, this pose for me is an assertion of all these things.

Many sites and books are going to tell you the physical aspect of the pose, and how to enter it from that angle. But  actually a lot of what a yoga pose talks of, comes from the name given to it, and below I have tried to understand the attitude that must be used to reach this pose, as Lord Hanuman must have felt --  a powerful man who never ever used his powers for himself. The pose speaks of that special quality in him.

What Hanumanasana needs, in terms of attitude:
* A lot of letting go
* A clear assessment of pain in the pose, and understanding where you can take it on, and where you must respect it and move back.
* Loosening up, where you feel yourself stiffening, instead of tightening up.
* Constant urge to deepen the pose as you settle into it, over the pain and then realize the comfort in doing that.
* The attitude of tapas.
* An involution of the mind.
*A settling in, a state of steadiness where it may originally start off in a wobbly fashion.

Yes, this pose is an extreme teacher:)

Happy sadhana!!

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