Today’s pose was kāla bhairavāsana, the one that I gravitated towards before the invocation. This latching on to an image started rather unconsciously but I’m enjoying discovering the names of various asanas. I didn’t know the name of this one that caught my attention until I looked it up in the Light on Yoga copy at home. As an asana, it seems wildly improbable that I would get around to that level of proficiency.
Kāla Bhairava conjures an image of a large cosmic force that ruthlessly destroys everything, like the fires that lay waste a land. After the embers die down and the rain showers its blessings, new beginnings manifest. Destruction as part of creation although it seems separate. The wheel, commonly used to denote the imagery of time captures its velocity beautifully. The quick descent towards the nadir and the slow plod to the zenith. It’s also interesting how the fearsome also finds a place in the devotee’s heart. There is no fear but worship, even if it is only to propitiate the deity.
Today I was taught how to modify standing poses to actively work on the knee. It was quite revealing as to how I am so attached to the cues of a pose. Since, the asanas were targeted towards a specific area, I was told to let go of others but it was hard to do that. A baby step but being able to work with trikonasana and ardha chandrasana like that for some time was exhilarating even if it was rather sweaty. The variety of props and the ways they were used today was at once simple and ingenious. Much pushing and turning happened until I could feel an evenness for a brief bit on the inner and outer legs. It made me think of Sage Ashtavakra who was born crooked, there’s an asana named after him too. He is commonly depicted as flat footed, knock kneed, bow legged with a hump. His arms also appear crooked in some images. Excepting the hump and the now not so visible hunch, that could be me. Perhaps not so exaggerated as the pictures but really the same. That sage was an enlightened master, this crooked student still needs the carpentry of bricks and belts.