Look at this incredibly perfect virabhadrasana III or, for those not really up on their Sanskrit, Warrior III. Don’t get me wrong, I am so not up on my Sanskrit, and highly doubt I will be able to consider myself bilingual with this language at all before I move on from this life…I am very grateful for the internet and the access it has given lowly English-speakers, such as myself, to hard to pronounce and spell words that I use every day in my yoga classes. Anyway, I was introduced to this pose at the very end of 2013 as part of a class devoted to setting long term, life intentions, the pose representing the action we take to see our seeds of intention grow. It was a beautiful class, and I did set some amazing intentions (this blog is the fruit of one of them)…and let me tell you this: my Warrior III absolutely did not look like this picture. In fact, I spent more time falling out of the pose than I did actually balancing in it. It was quite funny…pitiful, but funny.
So, this this pose has found its way into several more of my classes over the last month, and each time Melissa announces it, I hear this snarky little voice say, “Oh boy, here we go again…where’s the wall? Where’s the chair?” and, knowing full well that I will be meeting the floor as part of my wobbly attempts at this pose, “Did you vacuum the dog hair off the floor?” Today’s class was no different, and I mentally prepared myself to become intimate with the carpet that was, unfortunately, woefully full of dog hair.
Today’s class was all about stabilizing the sacroiliac joint, and particularly good for those of us who have practiced yoga, or dance, or other stretching based exercise programs to the point of overstretching our ligaments in that particular area. What this causes is a very unstable pelvis that wobbles about whenever we put any stress on it, resulting in an incredible, hot poker like pain above your rear hip; in my case, it’s on the right side. It’s one of those things that I generally ignore and just try and stretch through – what I didn’t realize was that this was actually making it worse. After teaching us how to stabilize the joint, however, we went into Warrior III (pulling our sit and pubic bones toward each other – stabilizing, of course!) and, for the first time, I held that Warrior III until the end of the pose! Sure, I wobbled, but the extra strength and stability I’d applied to that joint not only helped the joint itself, but strengthened my whole body’s foundation. Correction of one previously ignored area has caused my whole practice to grow.
So, I was also considering my lesson from yesterday. Today I was at church, enjoying food and fellowship after an uplifting service, and I was sharing what I had experienced during my grumpy day and how one act of gratitude corrected a whole day of whining, worrying negativity. My pastor, a very wise, experienced woman, said to me that the key was to move from finding something every day for which to be grateful to choosing something for which to be grateful, even before my feet touch the floor. My spiritual sacroiliac has been corrected, and my entire foundation is now strengthened.
I am excited to see what can be built upon my strengthened foundation of gratitude.
Thank you, God.