Breathe in Space, Breathe out the Rat Race
Here I am in Reverse Tabletop Pose, or Half Intense East Stretch Pose, as the Sanskrit translation goes, with 3 limbed Half Lotus variation, from my trip to Fuerteventura. Lifting one leg increases the core effort and balance challenge, and using Half Lotus leg increases the downward pressure. An easier variation for students who can’t do Half Lotus, is Fire Log foot position, ankle resting lower on the knee. The Sanskrit translation, ‘East Stretch’, refers to the front side of the body being stretched—the East side, as it’s the front of the body that faces the rising sun in the East. The feeling of this pose, apart from the physical effort, is opening the chest and heart to the sky—breathing in the space, breathing out the rat race. Stress with breaks can be creative, but stress without breaks is corrosive. We all need time and space to breathe, to open out into the vastness, and reconnect to the inner spark that just is, without reference to goals and objectives. Meditation and yoga can be a way of rebalancing, retreating, and restoring our peace, before launching back out into the world again, with greater vision and energy. But it can be more radical than that. For the contemplative, the space is not just a break, before returning to the real business of life. The space is a doorway into a heightened state of being, a flow and fusion, that is closer to love than peace, that rises naturally, up and out, with increasing intensity and presence. With mindfulness we restore our peace, focusing on just one thing with increasing intensity. With contemplation, our focus becomes a flow, as subject and object merge, opening and warming the heart, entering through the still point of concentration, into the eternal and self-fulfilling circle of being. Peace in the solar plexus, transforms into love in the heart, triggering sparkling illuminations in the brain, restoring our inspired vision again.