Timer is on and “Luisa’s Bones” by Crooked Fingers is playing…
Alright, today’s practice was fine…no real discoveries or hardships. I did notice that my Pigeon pose wasn’t as good as yesterday, but…I guess if the saying for that pose is that I celebrate my victories both large and small, then it makes sense that some of those victories don’t get to be celebrated everyday.
I think I want to talk about the splits today.
The splits – Hanumanasana (Dancing Monkey – Flying Monkey). This pose has always intrigued me because it is a stepping stone in competitive dance. You have to be able to do them on both sides and in the middle to be considered “flexible”, and I remember long ago that I wanted so desperately to be considered “flexible”, like that was the end all be all… I did all sorts of things that you probably shouldn’t do to learn how to do the splits, and I succeeded. I was, in fact, able to do them in all 3 positions. I can’t anymore, and, frankly, I’m not sure if in the middle is particularly healthy…I would have to look that up.
The quote on the YogaJournal.com says:
“It was the greatest leap ever taken. The speed of Hanuman’s jump pulled blossoms and flowers into the air after him and they fell like little stars on the waving treetops. The animals on the beach had never seen such a thing; they cheered Hanuman, then the air burned from his passage, and red clouds flamed over the sky…” (Ramayana, retold by William Buck)
Hmmm…this is the kind of thing that turns people off to yoga, sometimes, I think. I don’t mind it, but…what are you going to do…this quote is not helpful for my journey, but…the idea that it is a bridge between something does help…I like that image, that this pose is creating a bridge or a jump between something and that the pose itself is amazing and “hard” and special (because others have never seen it). Marriage seems hard and special and (maybe) amazing. I don’t know because as a child it didn’t seem like something I ever wanted because it seemed to make all involved very unhappy… My parents never divorced, but the threat was always present. So much so that I really don’t like holidays because that was, generally, when the unhappy party would want to move out.
Another quote from YogaJournal.com:
“Cervantes wrote in Don Quixote, “The road is better than the inn.” And so it goes with all yoga poses, and none more than Hanumanasana. It’s irrelevant whether you achieve the full pose or not. What’s important is you turn your awareness inward to find the energy of Hanuman inside yourself – an energy of devotion and introspection toward your own inner divinity. As you do this, your body will release and move. This movement, which transcends your current capacity and takes you where you could not have gone without this devotion, is your offering to the divinity within.”
Hmmm…maybe they should teach this to little ones, when they think they “have” to be able to the splits. Maybe we should tell them, “You become godlike in this pose…so…focus on the pose and don’t try to achieve it…but when you do…grace will be yours…” Okay, maybe they won’t understand that…I don’t think I do either, but…I can appreciate that even when I’m not in the full pose the energy of trying to bridge a gap is important and that when I do achieve it, grace will be mine…and, yet, what the hell is grace…again…something not to be put into words…
Apparently, this position is also called a “leap of faith”, and that is definitely something that can be applied to marriage. Do I believe I have a perfect relationship? No. But it’s one that I have faith in because it has survived so much and because I am connected to my person in such a way that I feel his disappointment and his frustrations physically. I don’t know why that happens, but…it’s only happened with one other person in my life and that is my best friend. I feel her loves, frustrations, and disappointments, and always have…I didn’t choose to…it just happens…even when we are on opposite coasts. This is something that happens with my chosen person, my fiancé, and what a wonderful thing to have found someone that creates a feeling in me that is the same as my best friend… This feeling combines friendship, love, and commitment…so…I’m willing to take a leap on that…