Blog post by Anjali Davidson
Pose of the Month: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose, can be an incredibly deep backbending posture. Like all backbends, it strengthens the spine, lengthens the entire front side of the body, stimulates abdominal organs and opens the heart & lungs. Backbends are said to promote joy, and bhujangasana specifically helps relieve stress and fatigue, which can certainly hinder delightful living. When taken with a proper counterpose (such as Child’s Pose or any deep forward bend), Cobra Pose can soothe sciatic nerve pain. Traditional texts say that Bhujangasana increases body heat, destroys disease, and awakens kundalini. Please skip this pose if you have had any back injuries or are pregnant.
Mudra of the Month: Hamsi Mudra
Hamsi Mudra literally translates from Sanskrit to “containing the spirit.” It is common to both Hindu traditions as well as the tradition of yoga. It can be done in any position, even while walking or standing, and it is best approached with curiosity and exploration. This mudra is sad to overcome depression and sadness, removing obstacles in one’s life. It benefits the lungs and large intestines, helping to move food through the digestive tract and absorb nutrients efficiently. It evokes feelings of lightness, laughter and delight. In Hindu culture, it is commonly used during pujas, or ritual worship, to increase the intended effects of that particular worship.
Visual Focus: Pentagram
The Pentagram is a five pointed star which can either face upright or downward. Five is one of the most powerful numbers in sacred geometry. The number represents the five elements - earth, fire, water, air and ether/spirit. The image of the pentagram makes these elements stable and measurable. Many structures use just the four measurable elements, but the fifth element, ether, adds the spark of spirit or life. When a pentagram is facing upward, it is said to invoke protection from negative influence or attack. In our culture, we have negative associations with a downward facing pentagram, but it is said to represent our ability to face such negative forces in our life. In a way, it represents the strength of humankind.