A posture is achieved when effort stops and the mind is merging meditatively into infinity.
In morden yoga practices, we call the postures asanas. However, following Patanjali’s yoga sutras, the term asana only refers to a seated posture, literally asana meaning „seat“. This could be Padmasana (Lotus pose), or any other seated pose, with the aim to sit firm and still for a longer period of time. Obviously this is not Bharadvajasana, as in the picture!
Interestingly in the early times of yoga, any standing and dynamic postures have rather been named tapas. Studying the yoga philosophy we might find the term tapas translated as devotional austerity, but literally it means „heat“.
So, how comes that we are calling the postures asanas? Shouldn’t tapas be the better matching term for what our physical practice is today? Well, our asana practice today has at least a similar ambition – through steadiness and ease, reaching a state of moving meditation.
Turn your lotus position upside down. No worries if full lotus isn’t
available for you yet, whatever your variation is works – full lotus, half lotus
or cross-legged. Even if full lotus is preferred as it makes the posture much
more compact and stable, we all know that it’s not always accessible.
Once in the posture and your thighs are parallel to the floor, press the
knees into the hands (yes, this way!). Start to lengthen your spine (feels
sooooo good!) and lift your chin slightly, so there’s no pressure on your neck.
For the next few breaths, allow your world to move this way. Upside
down. Notice what‘s different – is there any difference?
Physically this posture does a lot – it opens the hips, strengthens the shoulder frame, the muscles along the spine, the erector spinae is activated, just to name a few. In addition, your inner organs benefit, particularly as this pose utilizes specific pressure points at the thyroid and the kidneys.
As in all inversions, the blood flow increases and the brain is offered a surge of oxygen.
Don’t you wonder if you would suddenly feel your thoughts streaming with better clarity. If holding this posture a bit longer, maybe even a few minutes, you will notice that all your doubts, blank mental notes, and confusing stimulus will clear up.
Really? Well, you tell me, try it 🙂