Thursday, April 28, 2005

Extend a Hand, utthita hasta

Standing in line with my daughter at her school book sale tonight I picked up a copy of Soul Surfer. It's the amazing story of Bethany Hamilton, a talented surfer who at 14 was attacked by a shark and survived. But the shark got her left arm, almost all of it.

soul surfer Posted by Hello

I don't know if you've stepped on a skate board (or surf board) in the last decade, but I have. Balance can be tough. And that's with two arms. She surfs, with only one.

The pictures in her book and on her web site are fabulous.

When you look at her pics you can see my obvious yoga tip for today. When your balance is shaky, regardless of the pose, extend your arms like a surfer. I do this a lot in tree pose, vrksasana. I extend one arm out to the side in utthita hasta padangusthasana, also.

vrksasana, tree pose, arms extended Posted by Hello

utthita hasta padangusthasana Posted by Hello

Think about a tightrope walker. He carries a long pole that dampens sudden side-to-side shifts. You can stretch your arms out to the sides to steady your balance, too.

tree pose on a tightrope Posted by Hello

By the way, "extend a hand" hand in Sanskrit is utthita hasta. The phrase is used in some pose names when one or both arms are extended. We use the same phrase in English to imply that we're reaching out to others to offer help.

That's probably the most striking thing about Bethany; when she took a big fall, she got back on the board and used her notariety to extend a hand of help to others. Incredible.

Maybe extending a hand to others in generosity will bring better stability to your life. When you're feeling shaky, not quite steady, try helping someone else.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., Tomorrow I'll write about another surfer. It's the surfer variation of virabhadrasana 2 and what you can do to stand tall like a warrior, instead of crouching low like a surfer.

surfer Posted by Hello

virabhadrasana 2, warrior 2 posePosted by Hello

p.p.s., Would you like to extend a hand of help today? Surf over to where your purchase of an orange I DO YOGA wristband guarantees $1 in aid, through the American Red Cross, to victims of the Asian Tsunami. Think how good you'll look (and feel) with your arms extended, wearing an orange wristband!

I DO YOGA wristband at Posted by Hello

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved by Mo Yoga LLC.


Post a Comment

<< Home