The alarm did not ring at the usual 5:30am. At 6:15 I woke with a startle, bolted out of bed, and dove headfirst into my to do list. By 7, I was on schedule but had missed my morning reading and meditation. At 7:30 my mind was swirling so fast and my body (as usual) was trying to keep up. Today already seemed frayed at the edges.
Then I saw my little yoga practice area all set up for reclined hero pose (sputa virasana) literally beckoning me over. Supta virasana is the hardest pose for me in all of yoga. It is no coincidence that it is the pose that my body absolutely needs to find true physical and organic balance. For me to practice this pose safely and effectively, I must be supported, usually by at least a bolster beneath sitting bones and spine and ample support for my head. Some days I need more, I rarely need less. My ego self always tries to endure the unbearable physical discomfort with a faux calm demeanor. But my Inner Teacher does not allow this to go on for too long before she reminds me that that I am wasting precious time in an unnecessary painful situation. So I take the support and immediately the pose feels like it makes sense. Even with lots of support though it is still a big challenge for me everyday
So why do I practice it you ask? Because it addresses my deepest imbalance and my tightest muscles. Because when I do not consistently stretch those tight, imbalanced muscles they just get more tight and more out of balance and I start to walk moderately stooped forward and weak in my core, which in no time at all causes back fatigue/ache. Even though it is a massive 5-10 minute daily challenge, when I finish, my body buzzes with vibrancy and my posture feels upright, light, and strong all day long.
A secondary super cool thing is that since I have been consistently visiting this absolutely humbling hero, I have had several breakthroughs in the more playful part of my asana practice, holding in new arm balances, more steadiness and balance in handstand, and wayyyy more enjoyment in super strong vinyasa flow classes.
This totally feeds into my current practice theme of the Pulsation of Work and Play. How cool is that??!! Oh Yoga, thanks for continuing to be my hero. NAMASTE.