In the last few weeks, the sequences I have been given have been different in every class. One constant though has been beginning the session with Vipareeta Dandasana on a bench. Some days, I can stay while on others, my breathing is distressed. Today was somewhere in between and I spent a lot of time looking at Guruji’s Vipareeta Dandasana.
It’s not a Light on Yoga picture but one taken much later and he is in satiny green shorts. In that picture, his back makes a perfect right angle and the curvature of his beautifully filled chest could just as easily fit the arch his back made with his legs. His body could very well be geometry diagrams. Back home, I opened my copy to see his earlier picture and it is not as magnificent as the silver haired version.
As to my Vipareeta Dandasana, it is an unpredictable asana. Somedays I can stay feeling elongated while on others, I want to slide down and fold into my skin. Wanting to hide is still the first instinct when tears threaten but I stay and do what is told. I’m told to breathe and it is hard because I hold it all in. Last class left me shaken with unexpected tears and today was a wary one too. It’s a little tiring to clean all the emotional debris and I find myself wondering how long it will take. The upside is feeling the breath in my body in places I never felt before. Sometimes, it seems like a crash course in pranayama, this filling up of the chest as though it is an empty barrel.
In between all the heaviness of the body, I guess I’ve also been learning. I feel change in the ardha chandrasana experience and a quietening of the throat in a sarvangasana variation with a prop. Twistings took a whole different meaning of squeeze and left me with sharper and quicker reflexes. So perhaps all is not lost. As I lie on the floor or platform, my eyes stray to the image and it lingers there, amazed at the literal large heartedness of beloved Guruji. And I hunger to understand what lies beyond the benefits to body and mind.