Through yoga practice, one becomes at ease – comfortable, fully alive in one’s body, free of disease, inhibition, up-tightness and self-consciousness. One becomes free in mind, body, and heart. Saints and peaceful warriors all have this ease of being and are balanced, secure and stable in the world, which enables them to live lives of service to others.
But the forces of injustice in the world may seem insurmountable and cause us, ordinary people, to sometimes feel sad and insignificant. How are we to ever have a significant, positive impact in the world?
In Tales of Power, by Carlos Castaneda, Don Juan answers this question by saying, “Only if one loves this earth with unbending passion can one release one’s sadness. A warrior is always joyful because his love is unalterable, and his beloved, the earth, bestows upon him inconceivable gifts. Sadness belongs only to those who hate the very thing that gives shelter to their being. This lovely being, which is alive to its last recesses and understands every feeling, soothed me, it cured me of my pains, and finally when I had fully understood my love for it, it taught me freedom. Only the love for this splendorous being can give freedom to a warrior spirit. And freedom is joy, efficiency and abandonment in the face of any and all horror.“
When we can let go of our own discomfort we begin to transform. The practice of standing balances encourages our transformation into becoming instruments that are able to contribute to the happiness and liberation of others.
Secret Prayer Balancing Sequence: Begin standing like a mountain and extend your arms behind your back, pressing your hands together in prayer. Step your left foot back and turn it out. As you inhale, lift your chest and arch back. Feel the floor with both feet, then go deeper, through the floor into the core of this sacred planet. By yearning for a deep connection, you will develop faith, and the feelings of disconnection – that manifest as dis-ease, pride, loneliness and discomfort – will begin to dissolve.
Know that you are the force that brings heaven and earth together. Refine that connection to Mother Earth with the subtlety of your foot upon the floor. Don’t anticipate the future and don’t think about the past, just go one step at a time – be here now – by means of breathing. Stand steady (sthira) as a conduit – an open channel for the energy to come up from the center of the planet, as she transforms you into Her powerful instrument – a source for joy and inspiration for others. With a strong commitment, to yourself as an earthly being, press down on your right foot, bend your right knee a bit, and at the same time bend your left knee. By dropping the left side of your pelvis, bring both your hips in alignment so the left is the same level as the right. Now, exhale into your bend knees and feel your right foot pressing down. With a strong inhale, extend both legs. To maintain this balance, don’t try to hold it, instead let go and become a conduit, allowing energy to flow through you, resulting in fearless, fluid stability.
With the remembrance of the secret prayer that you always “keep in a back pocket”, free yourself of resistances like: self-doubt, tightness of body and mind, and forgetting to breathe. Be gentle with yourself, but be persistent and allow your whole body to exude graciousness. If you feel as if you would fall, joyfully connect with the earth again and again, bending the knee and then feeling your legs through the pressing your foot against the floor, then inhale and lift up again, more extended, a little more giving, a little more generous a little more at ease – more fully alive.