Question: Many times, we feel that we are aligned properly as per the teacher’s instructions, yet we are unable to do the final asana. Why is that?
We have to work on our perception and intelligence. Our perception about ourselves and people around us guides our decisions in life. For example, sometimes we perceive that our family needs our support and we work hard towards providing it just like the shoulders work to support the neck in Sirsasana. In the process, we might overburden ourselves and our loved ones just like many of us burden our neck and hurt it in Sirsasana. We need to step back and intelligently observe and reflect on our perceptions. What is your perception of your body and the asana?
We need to connect to our body in every asana and use our intelligence to guide our perception of our body. Our intelligent perception of the thighs and the extension of both legs must be used in Ek pada Sirsasana for the desired effect. This intelligence should start working from basic standing asanas like Virabhadrasana 2, Parsvakonasana, and Parsvottanasana. We should learn to connect to our outer, inner, front and back leg right from these standing poses. Through constant practice of these standing poses, the imprint of this perception will reach the mind. Only then can we progress towards an advanced pose like Eka Pada Sirsasana and be able to do them. This needs patience and perseverance.
Patanjali advises us to work towards the purity of the mind free from fluctuations. Early morning when we are having a cup of tea and watching the sunrise, we are experiencing a certain quietude of mind. This is the tranquil mind free from any fluctuations and perceptions. Usually, our mind is fluctuating in varying degrees and magnitude depending upon our changing perceptions about our identity. We do not have an inherent identity. We perceive that we do. So isn’t it better to perceive the identity of a tranquil mind rather than a fluctuating one? Using your perception in the right direction is the key to success in the advanced asanas and in life.
Lots of love,