From Sarvangasana or shoulder stand know that Halasana is a complimentary pose, or a pose that you can practice by itself. This beautiful position calms the mind, aids the functioning of the abdominal organs and strengthen the thyroid and parathyroid glands. This pose helps relieve the symptoms of menopause, and reduces stress and fatigue. Halasana is therapeutic for backaches, headaches, infertility and insomnia.
From shoulder stand (sarvangasana) gently lower your legs behind your head so that the tips of your toes are touching the floor. If you are not able to bring your toes to the floor, stay in angle pose. For support and weak lower back, keep hands on the middle lower back if needed. Otherwise, bring your hands clasped together in alignment with your spine, or hands in alignment with the shoulders and palms pressed into the earth. There is no right or wrong way, discover your most comfortable place, honor your body. Feel the lengthening in your spine, and legs. Breathe in full, slow, deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your nostrils. Be aware, mindful and keep your chin toward your chest at all times. Nothing should be under your head, and in this asana avoid turning your head left or right.
To come out of Halasana bring both knees toward your forehead, heels towards the buttocks, press your palms down on the ground and slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time. Fish pose, or Matsyasana is a fabulous complimentary pose to Halasana. Say to yourself, I am fluid, and as flexible as the wind. Know that you are grounded, and open to receiving and giving nourishment to your mind, body and spirit. See the world in a whole new way. Enjoy!
Variation ~ While in Halasana or plow pose, bring your knees towards your ears. Breathe in three or four full, deep breaths, maintaining this balancing position. Create space in your lower back, shoulders, back of the legs, and connect. Slowly and comfortably, roll down, easily and effortlessly.
Spiritual Well Being
Tat Tvam Asi a Yoga Sutra that means, I see myself in others, and I see the other in myself. Spiritual Well Being is allowing yourself to be authentically who you are. There is no going back, staying put is a choice, but to evolve, grow, and expand towards enlightenment we move forward. To move forward in the direction of fulfilling your desires is your human birth right.
Look at old pictures of yourself, read your words from your past journals, take a stroll down memory lane, and know that you are transformed, ever changing and filled with potential by being in the present moment. Spiritual well being is accepting all things as they are, with grace, in gratitude and being mindful of creating a new future by generating new desires. Embrace your dark, and light sides, do not project your fears onto others. There is no light when you are living in the darkness of your shadow self. Your spirit is the gold within the vessel we call body. We are each filled with golden light, we are born well and perfect, we are born enlightened.
Spiritual well being, or enlightenment occurs when you become an observer. Like a small child, live in the present moment. Express your needs, desires. Observe the past, observe the present, and when you notice and accept the feelings that are generated by those sensations, only then can you change the future. You choose how you want to respond to these personal feelings. Each day you are empowered to generate change. To begin the process of change, to move towards enlightenment, or spiritual well being, practice these simple steps as outlined below:
- Being- a state of questioning, of witnessing present moment awareness, choices.
- Feeling-noticing compassion, kindness as the road to consciousness, serenity, peace, and bliss.
- Thinking-use your knowledge of past experiences to create new, healthy change for your future.
- Doing-practice and commit to doing good things, thinking good thoughts, choosing kind words.
Let your soul (individuality) marry your spirit (universality) today. See the other in yourself, see yourself in others.
These are a few of my interpretations from a discourse workshop with Dr. Deepak Chopra, on September 14th, 2010.