By Rudrani Nogue
My new favorite pose is not one I would have chosen. Swamiji assigned it (and other poses) to me a month ago at our Calgary Shaktipat Retreat. She told me that my legs weren’t strong and that I needed to do TEN standing poses a day. I never thought of my legs as strong or weak. They were just how they were. Admittedly, my standing work until this point has been sporadic. I have leaned more towards floor poses. In my personal practice, I have added standing poses only when teaching themes with standing poses.
Swamiji’s intervention took me by surprise and challenged me. But I also knew I would get more than strong legs when I followed through. I just wasn’t sure what the more would be.
So I added TEN standing poses a day to my practices. I moved out of my comfort zone. It was tapas (doing the hard stuff). I work hard to claim the extra time for this new practice. Then magically I had the time. Over the month, I have come to look forward to the challenge.
The standing pose that has emerged as my favorite is Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2). While I look forward to deeper understandings going forward, so far here is what I have discovered:
- Not only are my legs getting stronger but so are my arms, shoulders, abs and feet
- I am standing in my bones and letting them support me
- I can stay in Warrior much longer than I originally expected. I settle and soften into it. This is the stamina that my pink sheets tell me is possible.
- I have been discovering tight spots in my body (yet again). I had no idea they were tight. They were so tight that they were numb.
- I am experiencing the power and comfort of repetition.
- My physical balance is steadier.
- I am steadier emotionally.
- I am feeling into my body in a new way – my tailbone lengthening down sometimes, my sacrum opening, the floor of my pelvis becoming alive.
Still most exciting is finding the joy, ease, steadiness, clarity and strength in my mind. Or maybe it’s coming from just beyond my mind?
As my inner warrior arises, I am kinder, more loving both to my Self and others and more able to ask for what I need. For example, between classes some students like to stay and chat. That leaves me little time to go home and have lunch before I am due back to teach. Yesterday when that happened, I expressed to one how I would be glad to talk more at a different time (true), but that I needed to leave then, to eat and rest before returning to teach. I felt clear and kind.
Gladly, I offered another Svaroopi the use of my blankets and the idea of teaching out of the community hall where I teach. Until now this has been hard for me to do. Of course, some of these changes are due to my other practices, but I am sure my Warrior 2 is a factor in these shifts.
Thank you, Swamiji, for giving me what I needed when I had no idea this was what I needed. I am, as always, filled with gratitude.