Camel Contentment

Been doing more doing than writing lately, but a lot of the doing has been exploring Ustrasana – camel pose. The one thing that’s clear is that the more I play with it – gently, respectfully – the more the sensations and emotions change. Or perhaps it’s my perception of the sensation that’s changing the emotion.

The original emotion was overwhelming fear. I now look forward to this asana, and usually end up with a pleasurable lightheaded feeling afterward.

I’ve also played with a lot of preparation. I prepare by playing with a lot of other backbends and twists, lengthening gently my quads, pecs, abs, warming up my knees. At first I cried a lot after coming out of this pose at home during my private practice. Not about anything really, just wordless tears.

It was during one of these times I remembered a quote I recorded from Mukunda Stiles when I took the workshop:

“There is nothing to do except to watch your reactions to your situation. From this comes samtosha, contentment.”

So I applied this meditative stance to my fear, my crying, my distress. When the crying was over, my distress had dissolved. And I’d learned a lot about contentment.


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