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What's behind you?

gulnaazdashti iyengar yoga Feb 23, 2021

I was inspired to write this after taking a class with my teacher, Gulnaaz Dashti.


She instructed us to look at our outstretched arms in front of us and observe the wrists and fingers and then take them behind our back and stated (paraphrased from my memory) "you know what is happening in front of you but do you know what is happening behind you? Our practice is about life." 

I have a new-ish puppy and I just took her to the west coast for a month. I had to have my eyes on her at all times as she originates from the campo and has a tendency to chase after birds, people and bark. Have you experienced this with  your child or dog when you just know they are doing something or have walked off, like this sixth sense that they are no longer where you thought they were? It's often when she was behind me and she knew I wasn't looking when she would saunter off and I could feel it. 

Do you know what your wrists are doing when they are behind you in Salambasana? Does one palm turn or wrist bend?  What sharp awareness this develops!

Side note: after a month of training she is significantly better.


The other point she made  was in the pose Supta Virasana, a restorative pose that is often far from restful. She urged us to make adjustments so that nothing was irritating. How often are we irritated by something and aren't aware of it or only after a few moments, days or years we realize that we are irritated? Physically, some of us just suffer and others run away as fast as they can from any sensation. 

This was meant to be restful pose and she was asking us to be aware and adjust.

I know that I can put up with quite a bit and then when I can't anymore I lose it. Isn't it better to have the awarenss to catch the irritation early so I can do something about it before the pressure builds up? 

What is your reaction to things that irritate you? Is it helpful to you and those around you? Or not?


And then lastly, when we had our final Savasana she kept saying "the body needs it's time to settle, the body needs it's own time." It made me think about how often we don't take that time, for whatever reason, to allow the settling to happen. 

Especially, this last year and all the changes that have been occuring in our lives we both need to cultivate that sharp awareness which takes focused effort and allow the body to fully settle. 

  • How can you sharpen your awareness in your practice? What are your toes and ankles doing in headstand? (or any other pose when you can't see them)
  • Do you tend to run from any sensation or just bear it until the next moment comes along?
  • Are you able to discern discomfort/sensation/pain that is helpful vs. not helpful?


P.S I hope these questions enrich your practice and you can share your ah-ha's on our private facebook page!! Every week I go live to answer your questions.


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