Recently, I found myself having to bear fair witness against myself. I believe there might be as many different paths to Truth as there are beings in existence. Yet, I watch myself working to convince people that "my" way is the "best" way. Interesting and ironic, as I don't care for that characteristic in others. When I step back and observe myself, and the quality of my interactions, I'm painfully aware of how lost I can get in my own agendas, my own passions.
So, how do I share this love without shoving it down people's throats? The solution appears to go against everything we've been taught: less is more. Lately, this concept has been popping up in my life repeatedly; advising me to sit back, open up to the experience, and when it's right, it will all come together. This will happen whether I fuss about it or not. Change is the only constant in this life. When we least expect it, the path reveals itself. The less effort we exert, the more awareness we have. This is what Eckhart Tolle is referring to as "The Power of Now". Fostering a clear and strong connection to each Now moment reduces the mental chatter, and the influence of the ego. The easiest way to tune in to this juicy Now energy is through our Breath (it's a gift, a present to keep us in the present).
Take it to the next level with Viparita Karani, or "Legs-Up-the-Wall" pose. Also referred to as the "Fountain of Youth", this pose teaches us that positive results can come from doing less, not more. Our bodies are tools, and are continuously adapting to how we use or abuse them over time. When we practice legs-up-the-wall daily for at least 5 minutes, we're sharpening those tools; learning to be receptive, to let go, and to be fully present in the Now. The physical body is reflecting the past. The subtle, or energy body, is speaking to the Now. What we are seeing in the mirror is not current. The changes that will manifest in the physical form are already happening at the level of our thoughts, our energy patterns, our non-tangible and invisible self. When we tune in to our Breath while in this position, we are resetting the body's clock, realigning with our perfect blueprint, and returning to a state of balance, neutrality.
The goal is lifting the hips and adrenals higher than the heart, while keeping the heart higher than the head; creating a sort of energy waterfall. The benefits are abounding: boosts the libido, energy levels, digestion, adrenal functions, circulatory system, and mood. Helps with insomnia, tight hips and hamstrings, varicose veins, wrinkles, leg cramps, anxiety, jet lag, and calming the nervous system. Aides in stopping colds before they set in. Heightens self-awareness, bringing in more peace and serenity. Great for relieving lower back pain and headache discomfort. Many believe this is the most therapeutic of all yoga poses. There is no warm-up for Viparita Karani. Simply relax, while slowing your breathing down. Closing the eyes may help, too. This is supposed to feel good! If it doesn't, using pillows, blankets, or other props can help with being more fully relaxed, and reaping the rewards of this extra special treat for the body/mind/spirit.
Challenge: Find someplace with uninterrupted quiet and a bit of wall space to practice Viparita Karani. Ideally, aim for at least once a day for 5-20 minutes at a time. Continuing with the schedule for a minimum of three weeks, make sure to note any changes in personal constitution during this period. Write them down, if you are so inclined. And, just like taking antibiotics, make sure the practice doesn't stop when you start feeling better. Practice is cumulative, so keep it up! The more you do it, the better you'll feel!
*Please consult your physician or care provider prior to practicing if you have any eye disorders and/or serious neck/back injuries.*
Amy A Ehn &