my Yoga

dandelions and bandhas

Our second weekend of training began today with an intense yogalates class that was packed wall-to-wall with yogis. You could barely fit one hand between each of our mats. Needless to say, you come to know your neighbor real fast. It was great! At one point, we were in bridge (setu bandhasana) and instructed to take it to our fullest desired expression. I felt a backbend was in order, because 1) I was so warm and 2) having worked all week, I really needed to open up my chest and stretch my back. So yummy! Any of you who do backbends know just how wonderful they feel. One of my neighbor yogis had the same idea. And after a few seconds of enjoying the pose, we looked at each other and laughed. We were SO close! She said, I’m just glad I didn’t fall on you while in balancing half moon. Haha…good stuff!

It’s so weird…this morning I woke up at 5:15 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I kept thinking about the process of letting go. An image so strong of a dandelion popped into my head. I grabbed my phone and made a note. I kept thinking about how as a child I would look for them and blow the little florets away into the wind. Sometimes I would gather all of the little, tiny flowers in my hand at once, then open my fingers to blow them away from there. A few of them at first would fly away, then a whole bunch would leave my hand, especially when a gust of wind caught them. But there were always one or two that would stick. Those last little stubborn florets just didn’t want to let go. And I always hated to see that last one blow away. But I’d just go look for another dandelion and the fun would begin again. It’s been a while since the last time I found a dandelion. But that’s not the weird part. The weird part is the discussion we had today while sitting in our lovely circle of yoga mats. Our discussion was on bandhas. Bandhas (“locks”) are internal actions within the body which help cleanse and release internal waste by directing agni (internal fire, energy, prana) to a specific area. They help generate and maintain heat in the body, retain the life-force (prana) in the channels along the spinal column, and build the strength that facilitates particular postures and movements. There are various bandhas, and they each have different influences on organs and functions of the physical body and the psyche/spiritual/emotional body. To be in a bandha, one must hold on and let go at the same time ~ a yin-yang, a relaxed contraction, a softened engagement of certain body parts. This helps to direct and hold energy in those specific parts of the body to release any blocks you may have. And I have a block! Perhaps a few.

Dandelion seeds (achenes) can be carried long ...

So it’s ironic that I was thinking about that dandelion early this morning then ended up talking about this process in yoga today. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the Universe just knows what you need when you need it. And if you’re open and willing to listen, it gives you answers. But as with everything, it takes time ~ time to know and understand how to get into your bandhas ~ time to find that feeling from being in a bandha in addition to knowing what a bandha is. Soon, with practice and patience, that knowing will turn into a feeling and you will find that space between. You will find your natural balance within.


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