Annie on release:
As we move through October with our yogic intention Īśvara-praṇidhāna – Devotion or Surrender to a force or power greater than ourselves – we get to see this devotion all around us. The trees, so devoted to Spring and the promise of rejuvenation and restoration, willingly let their old leaves fall away, naked in the cold to make room for something new.
We too must release something old to be rejuvenated, restored. Maybe you need to let go of your need to control, or to be perfect, or to be seen by others in just such a way. In my practice, I have had to let go of my brokenness, and just show up and do the yoga even when I am certain I can not. This old story comes back again and again, and each time I must find my way back to my mat and into the pose, some way, somehow. We put so much devotion into seeing ourselves a certain way. How we are. Who we are. Even why we are this way or that, gets our attention, our devotion. Bring that devotion to your mat. Do not worry if that deep connection you feel on your mat has a name. Call it God, the Universe, Allah, Source, Gaia, the mother, Community, or call it nothing at all. Just show up and do the work.
“Practice and all is coming.” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
In Shoulder Stand pose, as in Plow and Fish, the head is subjugated, the heart elevated above it. As your legs move up and away from the face leaving the gaze or drishti up, our attention is moved away from daily concerns and lifted up toward something unknown and uncertain, but powerful.
People often say they feel they will “suffocate” in the pose is they try it. This is simply the resistance, the ego, holding on to what feels safe and known. You are ready NOW! Use the wall, the blocks, or just GO UP!
See what happens!
PS: you ARE ready now! And, if you have ever had a severe neck injury or surgery shoulder stand is not your pose. Modify. Contraindications for shoulder stand in addition to these include recent blood clots or strokes, high blood pressure and cataracts.