As we follow the path of our true Nature, we can begin to balance our lifestyles with the changing of the Seasons. In our mechanical, concrete World this can sometimes seem impossible; but there are many ways to find Nature around us and within us on a daily basis.
Waking to greet the morning Sunrise is something I like to do daily. There are times I cannot actually see the Sunrise because of where I’m located that morning. Instead I light a candle (or even have a battery operated candle) to represent the light of the morning. I sit quietly and breathe in the morning prana (no worries, it is all around us no matter where we are – and morning prana is the finest most distilled energy).
I stand barefoot on the earth when I can; I sit under trees, I hug trees, I take time to gaze at flowers just beginning to bloom in this springtime joy. And, most importantly, I take time each morning to send a prayer of gratitude to a new day, and to the miracle that I got to wake up yet again to experience it.
Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) is known as a Master pose in the compendium of Asanas. It can be modified or advanced in a variety of ways, and should always feel opening, strengthening, and deeply content.
Accessing and waking up the back body is very important as we move forward throughout our day. Most people spend their days focused in forward flexion: seated at computers, looking down at cell phones, driving in cars with bucket seats, etc. The back body gets forgotten, loses its tone, and soon gets locked up in its long muscles. Without daily activation, our postures can become dysfunctional, and over time we can have balance issues, greater falls, low back, neck, and even shoulder problems.
Shakti is the yoga term used to describe the dynamic force or Prana animating all of creation, said to create the sacred dance or play of all life, called Lila. This dynamic energy, feminine in Nature, but present in all life is experienced within us; and all around us. We can often times feel cut off from our own flow or sense of ease in thought or movement. There are many techniques to get back our juicy radiance, from breath techniques, to meditation, to eating certain foods and cleansing with the seasons, to movement practices.
Coming back to Cobra pose, we can view it from a purely physical movement; or we can begin to understand its deeper subtle body influences within us. When lying prone, we seek greater stability of our lower body, from our feet tops, thru the thighs and front of pelvis, creating a deeper connection with the Earth. From this stability, using our inhale breath and lifting with our upper back body, we can begin to extend the spine, broaden the chest, stretch the front body and feel the primitive response of the nervous system reaching while at the same time stabilizing. If done dynamically, lifting with each slow inhale, and coming down slowly with the exhale, Prana will begin to unwind from deep in the pelvis and move up along the subtle body spinal cord, called the Sushumna.
This is the energy of manifestation. It is the first movement of creation. It is earthy, lively and wildly passionate. From a tantric yoga perspective, of kundalini (rising), Shakti can become awakened within the pelvic floor and move up the spine, radiating energy through the cerebral spinal fluid. Known as Kundalini rising, over time Shakti energy travels to the back of the head at the Medulla Oblongata to join with Shiva, the masculine essence of transformation. Over time, a practice focused on this awareness can create an experience of “oneness”, a truly present moment sense of awareness.
Watch for Part 2 of this Post Coming Soon!