So…the 25th Day of the 38 Day Practice Towards a Ritual of Love/Acceptance brings me to discussing Urdhva Dhanurasana/The Full Bridge.
According to THE YOGA HANDBOOK: “ ‘Urdhva’ means ‘upward facing’ and ‘Dhanurasana’ is the Bow – so Urdhva Dhanurasana is an inverted version of Dhanurasana (the Upward Facing Bow). This posture is also referred to as Chakrasana, the Wheel.”
The benefits, according to THE YOGA HANDBOOK:
- Strengthens the thigh and the buttock muscles.
- Stretches and strengthens the abdominal muscles and tones the organs.
- Stretches the front of the hips, increasing flexibility
- The Little Bridge particularly nourishes the thyroid gland with a fresh and increased blood supply.
- Helps regulate the metabolism and keep obesity in check.
- Keeps the spine elastic.
- Nourishes the brain with a fresh blood supply.
Now, what does this have to do with a ritual towards Love/Acceptance? Other than the obvious facts that it tones and makes flexible areas that the American Man find attractive, I think it is important to keep the spine elastic…that’s weird, right? But…I do think that it is important to have an elastic sense of the area that communicates to all the muscles, the heart, the brain, the feet, etc. This is the computer of the body: the nervous system, and if your nervous system is elastic, it allows the person operating to be “elastic”/”flexible”. I think a person who becomes stuck, is not a person that will make a lifetime partner. Elasticity/Flexibility for all decisions and movements will keep a relationship exciting and happy.
The next pose is the Supine Butterfly. The quote is “I welcome the changes in my life with openness and flexibility.” I have to say that this is the most satisfying pose after the Urdhva Dhanurasana/The Full Bridge/Wheel. I do feel “open” and “flexible” after that pose.
The benefits, according to the yoga cards:
- Opens the hips and groin.
- Creates flexibility in the knees
- Strengthens the inner thighs
- Stimulates the digestive system and assists with elimination.
Hmmm…this one with the quote is helpful for my ritual towards Love/Acceptance, but…I’m not sure about the stimulating of the digestive system being helpful in that except maybe the whole Scythe metaphor, but…that might be stretching the metaphor a bit too much…
Day 26 – 1/25/16
Well, it was the first day of school, and I had to do the short 30 minute version today…it was alright…again, it’s not as “satisfying” in the short version, but…at least, I’m still doing every pose, and I am committed to the process…
My next pose to discuss will be the counter postures of the Turtle and the Cross Bow. These are the last poses to discuss because I’ve already discussed the Kneeling Yoga Mudra and the final meditation, so…it’s down to the “counter poses”.
The first is Kurmasana/The Turtle. The quote on the card says, “I go to a place deep within and find what I need.” I suppose that is a quote for all rituals/practices/disciplines. We create something to answer the question of “what we need.” I need to run: I create a warm-up to get there. Running hurts, so I have to do it a lot to make it easier. I need to become a great teacher: I practice, I become disciplined. I am make the ultimate leap to becoming a wife after 38 years of not doing so…I need a discipline, I need a practice, I need a ritual to warm me up to doing it in such a way that my chosen and I don’t become a statistic of all those that get married and promptly divorced. So…daily, “I go to a place deep within and find what I need.” And, what I need is to have this work, and it’s scary…I remember when we first started dating, and I was scared. I was scared of this new feeling. I had thought I was “in love” before, but…I don’t think I was…the feeling with him was palpably scary, so much so that I wanted to run away from it…and, yet, getting married is not scary…but I’m scared of the fact that I’m not scared, and that doesn’t make any sense, so…I NEED to figure out where the anxiety is coming from…and I’m hoping this practice will reveal it…or maybe just let me accept that this is the logical next step and there’s nothing to worry about…
The benefits of Turtle/Kurmasana:
- Stretches the groin muscles.
- Increases suppleness in the tendons as well as knees and hips.
- Releases tension in the upper back.
Awe! Tension…that needs to be released…good…
The Cross-Bow/Dhanurasana…the quote: “I am open and aware of all that passes before me.” So…after The Turtle, where I “go to a place deep within and find all that I need,” I then am “open and aware of all that passes before me.” This is a beautiful counter pose because in the position before all the counter poses, I was “welcoming the changes in my life with openness and flexibility,” so it follows that I need to counter this “welcoming” idea with finding what I need (in order to be open) and then becoming open and aware of all the changes I found…or…didn’t…throughout the practice.
The Benefits of Cross Bow:
- Massages the abdominal organs and improves digestion
- Stimulates the thyroid and opens the chest
- Strengthens the back and upper arms
- Tones the thighs and buttocks.
All this digestion and thyroid stuff at the end…but…no time to explore this paradox…tomorrow…
Day 27 – 1/26/16
So…I did the thirty-minute version today because it’s (almost) midnight, and that’s how things are going to go from now on…during the week…
Yesterday, we ended with the fact that the counter positions all have something to do with digestion, and that’s just not the image one wants in their head, when they’re thinking about matrimony, love, acceptance, etc.
According to THE YOGA HANDBOOK: “Each posture needs to be balanced by another posture that either bends the body in the opposite direction or returns the body to a position of symmetry. This allows the body to restore a state of equilibrium and to gain the full benefit from the postures. If you experience discomfort after doing a posture, remedy the problem by moving into the counterposture, whether it be a dynamic, a static, or a resting posture…The counterposture is an easier posture and can take the form of a rest pose, especially for beginners…Hold the counterposture for a third of the time that you held the initial posture, or execute the counterposture dynamically. Postures that particularly require counterpostures include back bends, twists, side bends, and inverted postures.”
Hmmm…so…the entire practice for this ritual includes back bends, twists, side bends and inverted postures. Thus, I have to have counterposes that bring back symmetry to a body that did all of those things for an entire practice, and, yet, the only thing that all of these counter-poses have in common is the digestive help…
The chakra in charge of digestion is Svadhisthana, which one of the poses (Turtle) includes this chakra, the quote for this is: “Related to the ability to absorb, assimilate, and nourish on a physical as well as metaphoric level as an attitude toward life and experience. This center is also the origin of movement.” So…the digestion center is also the center of my ability to assimilate…and isn’t that what marriage is? Assimilation into another family/another being?