When we cannot see where we are going... we are in fear. Actually our body instinctively engages hormones in our body that both heighten our other senses, and also activate the “fear” or “stress” reactions in our nervous system. Today’s pose shared this insight as we sank down into something called Camel (Ushtrasana). This pose is created by sitting on our ankles (safely) and having hands on finger-tips behind us we slowly raise up, pushing our pelvis forward as we come onto our knees. One can either tilt their head back (if their neck is very strong) or look ahead, but when the neck is tilted back we cannot see... our whole world is turned upside down.
In positions such as this one our body goes into a “stress” mode... if we do not control our breathing and allow ourselves to feel the pose and know we are okay. And so... we were taught the way to make sure that we can come safely into the pose from the heals rather than starting from already being up on our knees and sinking the hands down to the heels or floor behind us. That method can become very unstable and wobbly and even cause serious injury if we do not have strong muscles already in place to control our descent.
We even did a little exercise in class where we walked around the room in a forward motion. Looking and seeing where we were going and who we were avoiding a collision with. BUT, we then turned around and walked backwards... not seeing what or where we were going sent all of our senses into a bit of a tailspin and we were stepping on toes and bumping into people all over the place. This made allowed me to go a little deeper into the practice... when we don’t see all the aspects of a situation (or pose) we activate that part of us that sends out the stress signal and reduces our Prana (life-force energy) greatly.
How many of us do this on a daily basis? How many of us are reducing our Prana just by not being aware of our moment to moment lives and really opening our eyes (and all of our senses) to the situation at hand? Through the practices of meditation, Reiki, yoga and daily awareness... we can become more “in-sightful"0 and reduce stress. Yes, there are some stresses in our lives that help facilitate our movement forward in life, but how many are unnecessary and “over-done”.
In the end... I, myself, was unable to even get up into the pose. But I tried. I am working through some knee and muscle issues with this pose, but one day... I’ll get back on the Camel again and ride off into the sunset. But for now, I’ll just keep my eyes open and keep on moving forward into many other amazing and connective postures. One thing I do know for sure... I now know why it is called the Camel pose.
...or is that my newby mind over-analyzing just a bit too much. If you have the “real” story please enlighten me.