On a daily basis we place burden on our delicate frames. Whether it is the weight of our backpacks, schoolbooks and shopping bags, or the weight of emotion, worry, and chaos. Our body and mind take on a load that weighs much more than need be.
It is through practicing Asanas that I have been able to feel the liberation of being weightless. In particular through practicing Sirsasana, the head stand inversion. I am very fearful of being upside down and falling. This fear stems from my past as a child and the many broken limbs and cracked skulls I endured from handstands, headstands, rolly pollys, bridges… the list goes on. As an adult, caution has taken its place in my thinking and the fear of injuring myself is pretty overwhelming. In this yoga teacher training I knew I would have to let go of fear, as it would be the biggest barrier to my progression. I would have to let go of this mental weight to achieve a physical weightlessness.
I recall about two days into the course we were taught of the importance of the hip flexors in so many of the postures, particularly Adho Mukha Svanasana and Sirsana. In downward facing dog, once I placed emphasis on engaging my hip flexors the weight in my arms almost vanished and the burn that I once used to feel in my shoulders was no longer. The pose had transitioned from “effort to effortless” and I was in Asana.
In Sirsana, not only were we to engage the hip flexors but also hold strength in our shoulders. We were to remove the weight from the top of our heads and push against the ground with our forearms. Once my hips were stacked above my head and shoulders, that feeling of weightlessness presented itself and lifting my legs became effortless. There was no need to kick, to strain, to tense my legs. I had created a solid foundation that would not collapse regardless of any movement my lower limbs would create.
It is this concept that is so key to my spiritual practice too and is a recurring theme in our theory classes at Trisula Yoga. The idea of being still and solid in ones own self that the movement and chaos around holds no power in affecting us. Letting go of negative thought, of judgment, of all emotion, of expectations and ultimately being content and holding gratitude in all that one embodies. That is where we feel weightlessness and ultimately inner peace.