Sunday, April 18, 2010

13-18.04.10 Highlighting Paschimottanasana

Tues: 30 mins; Wed: 1.5 hour guided class; Thurs: 1 hr guided class; Fri: 30 mins personal; 1 hr teaching; Sat: 1.5 hour assisting (personal practice day off); Sun: 1.5 hour Mysore

The reason I try to blog every day is because I learn from each day of yoga. Each time I practice, I realize new things about myself or about the world; each time I assist I appreciate new things in myself and others. I am sad that I haven't had a chance to blog for almost a week because so many things have presented themselves to me.

However, I noticed something really interesting tonight since I was forced to think about the past week of yoga, instead of the past day or two. There has been a central theme to the yoga I've practiced this week: paschimottanasana (seated forward bend). All of the guided classes I took this week had people performing adjustments and helping the participants get further into asanas. Oddly enough, I received an adjustment in paschimottanasana on Wed, Thurs, and today (every class I attended). I feel the need to explore the roots of this asana some in my blog tonight, because I feel like there must be a reason for this asana's theme in my life.

Going to Yoga Journal's description, I learned that the following are benefits:
  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings
  • Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort
  • Soothes headache and anxiety and reduces fatigue
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis
  • Traditional texts say that Paschimottanasana increases appetite, reduces obesity, and cures diseases.
And, maybe not-so-ironically, I was having significant trouble with some of these very things this week: stress, mild depression, menstrual problems, anxiety, and fatigue (yes, it has been a rough week!). I suppose that I could find that I need cures offered by most asanas. But other asanas were not central to my body this week. Paschimottanasana was.

I don't think that those symptoms have been cured because of the practicing of paschimottanasana. But I do think that the repeated assists that I've received this week are highlighting my need to pay attention to these symptoms.

We can all learn by paying attention to cues and clues in our yoga and in our world... I'll be on the lookout for my "next" paschimottanasana.

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