Practicing Yoga Asanas will bring clarity about how to act in life. How? We learn to act in life like we act in the poses: we are aware of our actions and make them as perfect as possible. These actions also include thoughts and speech. Thoughts might come and go but by being aware we can choose whether they bother us or not. This is in our hands, this is an action. But how can we perform proper actions unless we are not aware of what we are performing? Most of the time we are just acting without reflecting, we don’t take time to stop and get feedback. An unreflected action is an incomplete action. But by doing Yoga we learn how to reflect upon our actions. We act and then reflect. This is the quality of THA. Only HA and THA together bring balance. When we integrate both of them in our practice, then also our life becomes balanced.
All the Yoga poses bring balance. Inversions are the most important ones but also the family of Sethubandhasarvangasana for example – and especially the one where the tail bone rests on a brick in order to realign it (“injection”) – brings balance and takes away conditioning. As it sticks the tail bone in, it brings awareness in that area and makes our whole posture better, we become more upright.
Viparita karani is one pose which energizes us with HA and THA quality. Viparita means doing the opposite, karani means the one that does the opposite. Usually our energy is going downwards: into the stomach area when we think about food or into the sexual organs when we think about sex. These two are the main attractions. Viparita karani changes that by moving the energy upwards. Actually this is happening in all the inversions. They not only bring a healthy physical and mental life, they let us become “real human beings”. What does that mean? It means that we encourage real love to flow into our life. Viparita karani can be done when we are extremely tired or sick, in case we are not able to hang or do Shoulderstand. When we are sick we don’t enjoy anything, we just feel sorry for ourselves. This pose gives us back our energy. I remember that I once was very sick with cough, fever etc. I was freezing and did Viparita karani in my sleeping bag during the whole day. I only drank water and got up to go to the toilet. When we are sick it’s best not to eat and only drink water and maybe a bit of tea. The next day the fever was over. Just one day of no eating and doing Viparita karani was needed.
Yoga Master Teacher Sharat Arora
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, 13.10.15