Today we are taking a traditional Iyengar sequence and using it to work toward Anantasana. This pose is dedicated to the thousand-headed serpent that Vishnu reclines upon like a couch. The serpent represents the infinite and this pose develops infinite patience as your balance and calm is tested.
One of my favorite stories is of Brighu who proceeded to the abode of Narayan (Vishnu) who was receiving a foot massage from his consort the Goddess Lakshmi.
Brighu dealt a kick to Vishnu’s chest leaving a footprint whereupon Vishnu said, “Please be seated. Kindly excuse my fault in not properly receiving you. I hope your foot was not injured by my chest.” Then Brighu realized the divinity of Vishnu, for he saw that Vishnu was free from the bondage of mundane conditioning.
I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to kick back?
Georg Feuerstein notes in his preface to Judith Lasater’s book, Living Your Yoga:
The complex five-thousand-year-old tradition of yoga is about a very simple thing: happiness (ananda). Yoga tells us that in order to realize lasting happiness, we must discover our true, spiritual nature. This requires that we commit ourselves to nothing less than self-transformation and self-transcendence. For although our true nature, or spiritual Self, is always the same, it tends to be obscured by our conventional thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behavior. The yoga tradition compares this circumstance to the brightly shining sun, which is ever radiant but periodically hidden from our view by drifting dark clouds.
In his book The Deeper Dimension of Yoga, he notes:
What, then, is happiness? First of all, we must note that happiness is often confused with pleasure […] as another poet put it, even the sweetest rose has its thorns. The particular sting of pleasure is that it is short-lived. Hence we often hunt after a pleasurable repetition….Pleasure is inherently addictive, precisely because it is not completely fulfilling.
Happiness, on the other hand, is deep, full, and enduring. It is satisfying in itself. Therefore it gives us peace and tranquility. Whereas suffering follows in the wake of pleasure […] happiness has no untoward repercussions. It gives rise to harmony…
Happiness ends all sorrow; it concludes our frantic search for the next injection of pleasure.”
Additionally we will play with the Maha Sacral Mudra and attend to our Root Chakra.
“When the Root Chakra is balanced, the vital connection to life is strong and supported. Our foundation is secure. We feel safe, grounded, alive, and peaceful.” Olivia H. Miller
Sequence: Begin in Sukhasana and practice Maha Sacral Mudra for eight breaths.