“Today, I will focus on Equanimity”. Equanimity is an inner spaciousness that allows us to be at peace in all circumstances.
Being at peace is what Yoga is all about.
Finding that inner peace.
It is not always easy, especially when your world seems to be spiralling out of control. I guess it is the need to realise that all circumstances happen for a reason and we need to find peace within the chaos.
One asana (position), I take great meditative peace from, is Adho Mukha Savanasana or Downwards Dog. I find that this posture, when held for five breaths or longer, creates a sense of inner spaciousness.
Begin on the Yoga Mat, on all fours, making sure that the wrists are underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips. Keep the spine straight, with the head in line with the spine (so you will be looking down at the mat). Next, take the hands on hand space further forward. Ensure the fingers are spread nice and wide. This ensures that the weight through the hands is distributed evenly. Curl the toes under behind and on an in-breath; raise the knees from the mat, pushing the bottom up to the ceiling. Ensure the feet are about hip width apart and the hands shoulder width apart.
Remain on the tip toes, as you try to get your chest as close to your thighs as you can, without moving the feet or hands closer together (creating an upside down triangle), you should begin to feel the stretch between the shoulder blades. Keep the chin tucked in, as you attempt to lower the heels to the mat. If you are not able to get the heels all the way down, you may need to use a block, or roll up a towel to place under the heels. Over time, the chest will sink lower to the ground and the heels will lower to the mat, as the hamstrings become more flexible.
While holding the position, keep the chin tucked in, creating the Jalandara or throat lock. Tighten the Moola Banda (Perineum lock: tighten the perineum – the space at the base of the spine, found between the genitals and the anus), and try to draw the tummy back into the spine and up behind the rib cage, creating the Udhyana Banda, or chest lock. Remember to continue breathing into the body, and around any tight or tense area’s.
Now, try to focus on clearing the mind and feeling the space within.
The benefits of the posture are;
• Stronger hands, wrists, low-back, hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon
• Decrease in back pain by strengthening the entire back and shoulder girdle
• Elongated shoulders and shoulder blade area
• Decrease in tension and headaches by elongating the cervical spine and neck and relaxing the head
• Deepened respiration
• Decreased anxiety
• Increased full-body circulation
Remember; always consult a qualified Yoga Instructor before attempting any of the postures or asana.