Last week we all dived into back bend asanas in class. Backbends (front openers) are difficult and stimulating – a great tonic for artic winter blues! The warming stimulation to the body, and mind, is obvious when working these poses.
The philosophical lesson within this category of asana is complex and rewarding. There is fear to overcome, especially if there exists a vulnerable condition in the low back or neck. Careful attention to technique regarding those areas is needed. We learn to overcome fear by practicing with strong attention to detail and demand of ourselves a communication between vulnerable spots and our intellect.
Also the stimulation may bring on a less then desirable condition in the nerves. We are reminded to strive to reach a sattvic state of mind, not one of hyper stimulation. Re-read our Philosophy Corner discussion titled “Nature and Soul… and how they try to connect“ to review the concepts of gunas.
The stimulation of the rajasic qualitiy of our nature is needed to attempt backbends, and we try to use just enough effort to get the job done, but not overdo and create an imbalance. Using asanas with a rajasic (fiery) effort to oust sluggishness (tamasic quality) is very effective. Then we must watch for how to transform that fiery nature into a still, stable, and alert consciousness (citta). At that time there may be a clearer connection to our souls within.