Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Samasthiti - holding ourselves steady in a state of equilibrium is where we begin our practice. The first thing I need to do each morning is to remember to leave my problems and thoughts behind. I feel the stiffness around my pelvic region and abdomen lessening as soon as I do this and start focussing within.

In this posture, one has to stand straight, feet together (big toes and ankles touching), flat on the ground. The spine is straight, the legs are stretched upwards from within, hands are stretched but not tight and are placed by the side of the body, palms facing the outer sides of the thighs.

The body is relaxed yet the emphasis is on an upward stretch that begins from the feet. It is a gentle stretch, not a wrenching motion, yet it has a very noticeable effect. The ankle joints have to relax; the stretch continues from the legs, thighs, buttocks to the lower back and all the way up the spine.

With Masterji's help, I try and open the pelvis - the hip bones have to gently move outwards and backwards. The spinal stretch continues upwards, the chest expands. My shoulders go up in tension, to relax them I need to pull up slightly from behind and below the shoulder blades and relax the upper back. When I do this, the shoulders relax, move down and backwards. The neck is stretched but not stiff. Now, I try to apply mulabandha and uddiyanabandha.

It is difficult to remember to keep everything else simultaneously relaxed, it is also hard to make sure the feet stay flat, touching each other on the ground and the weight is evenly balanced. But the attempt to do this posture correctly brings relaxation and lightness and clears the mind, paving the way for the rest of the practice.

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