This post is part ofSadhana, a 26-week exploration of each of the Namaste Yoga sequences. It’s never too late to join! All that is required is to try a new Namaste sequence each week – and don’t forget to post about your experiences to be entered in our monthly contests. Read all the Sadhana postshereor connect with others participating in Sadhana on ourFacebook wall.
"The obstacle is the path," ~ Zen Proverb
Humanity is comprised of an imperfect recipe of traits, mixed together in varying ratios, and baked for an undetermined length of time to produce people of different shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. No matter the perspective, there is always a bit of ego involved, but in yoga, we strive to move through life from a centered place of No Ego.
Check your ego at the door and come to the mat for Dancing Shiva, the last sequence of the Namaste Yoga Sadhana Journey. You have travelled a long way! You are about to experience what Kate calls "possibly the most challenging of all our sequences." What does Kate usually say when something poses a challenge?
"Have fun with it."
In the warm up, you will do a series of cat rolling in which you come up on the forearms, then curl up and through the back, rolling back into Child's Pose. It feels like winding backwards through time. A moment to reflect on your Sadhana and all you've learned! The strength and flexibility you've found, the insights you've revealed. Maybe you've made some new friends along the way. Dancing Shiva is the celebration of all you've gained!
The Earth-Rain Breath Body Link is followed by a gesture, with hands in prayer, to connect with the Third Eye and Heart, then continue the revolution to reach up as you sink into chair pose. Keeping your heart and mind connected even as you move through the most challenging aspects of life is a valuable ability in and of itself.
Lift from Chair Pose with exhuberance into a Chest Lift. Rejoice! Then, to lower the torso down, while still reaching out from the chest, into the Forward Fold is a reminder to always expand, never collapse! Return to standing refreshed and renewed and get ready! The fun is about to begin!
"Many people give up when they are about to succeed," ~ Lao Tzu
Bring your heel up to your opposing hip... and giggle as you wobble or smile as you stand firm and straight! Fold forward and give thanks for the extra support your arms and hands are able to provide. The next moment is about trust... what do you trust here? You're moving into Crane Position and your legs are not symmetrical! You can't rely on your folded leg to catch you if you should fall, are your arms strong enough to hold you there if you lift your grounded leg? Can your knees find the same places along both arms? Can you do this? Do you trust yourself enough to try? The answer can vary every time you practice this sequence, so it is a terrific gauge of your own state of mind.
However that turned out, let it go. For some, Letting Go is more difficult than this Crane variation! But give it a try. The next pose will make it worth your while.
Lift up with the folded leg still tucked up. Then bring it to the back body, connect your hand with your foot, and rise into Dancer Pose. Look at this! Here, right now, the scars of your life don't matter. No matter what your pose looks like, your soul is light! You can see the world more clearly, all the elements come into focus! The moment is boundless and you feel as though everything is possible with enough time, patience, practice... and breath.
In Namaste Yoga, it is your spirit that truly dances. Thank you for the journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather Gregory is an avid Namaste yogini and has been practicing the sequences nearly every day for three years. We enlisted Heather to embark on Sadhana, our 26 -week journey, and blog about each sequence. You can contact her firstname.lastname@example.org