Holiday practice- Gomukhasana

Thought I’d practice to one of my teacher’s classes but about 20 minutes in, I went my own way. Gomukhasana was on my mind since yesterday’s Garudasana exploration and I tinkered around playing with the leg position. Light on Yoga and Niño gave silent company as virasana and its variations, bhekasana, rajkapotasana, ek pada rajkapotasana, dhanurasana, etc. laid themselves out. It was not an in-depth study but more in the nature of a tasting. Touch and go as I tested the ability and capacity of the body. I’ve been more cautious than risk taking with respect to knee positions and it seems ok so far.

It is fascinating how time flies when on the mat some days. Today felt a bit like playing lego. Make, unmake, remake and so on as I entered gomukhasana through different doors. And in the bargain, the route that is emerging seems to be one that will aid some of the asanas that I struggle with like chaturanga dandasana and the balancing ones.

Something from today’s morning reading (2.25) stayed- ‘All these are subject to the gunas, which blend the behavioural pattern of an individual. If we understand the flow of these forces, we can reach balance, and from balance go on to true freedom. If not, we are swayed from one extreme to another, between pleasure and another pain. Yoga, says Patanjali, is the way to harmonize ourselves at every level with the natural order of the universe, from the physical to the most subtle, to reach the total state of health which brings stability, to cultivate the mind with real understanding, and to reach out ultimately to undifferentiated infinity.’

The concept of gunas is such a simple and profound one. The progression from understanding to balance to freedom as mentioned in the commentary matches the same simplicity and profundity of the concept itself. As I look at the sutras again and again, listen to some of their unpacking, I remain mesmerized by not just the thoughts but also the order and clean delivery. In my early readings of the Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, these were accessible through the lens of asana but over time, I am beginning to see how richly packed it is.

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