Sunday, September 30, 2007

In yoga this morning, we did a lot of back bends; ustrasana (camel pose), half frog and full frog pose (what's the sanskrit for those?), dhanurasana (bow pose) and then urdvadanurasana (upward bow/wheel pose).

Yoga works with metaphors that are usually horrible cliches if made into art but often profound if experienced physically. When you do a back bend, you have to expose and open up the entire front of your body. This includes your chest and stomach. You have to expose your throat. You have to do all of this while your legs and the back of your torso hold you steady. This movement is the opposite of what most of us do all day as we hunch over our desks or steering wheels. It's also the opposite of what most living creatures do when they're defensive. Fetal position is safe--our vital organs are protected. Urdvadanurasana is an opposite of fetal position.

I like wheel pose, and camel--any of the upside down back bends. I struggle more with dhanurasana and frog, but I'm getting there. I like being upside down. I like dropping back into wheel. I feel brave, tough, and unusually bendy.

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