Shifting Perspective

July 21, 2014
Katherine Austin Wooley


by Debra Darvick

I snapped this image Karma Yoga's fall retreat at Song of the Morning.
The "tree" is actually the forest reflected at the lake's edge! Tilt your head 90º.
This image is available as a greeting card at my Etsy shop -- The Infinite Peacock.

I got to kundalini class a little late the other day. My regular spot had been claimed by another yogini. What's more, all the spots in front of the teacher were taken.

Egad! I was going to have to choose a new spot!

I lay my mat perpendicular to where the teacher sat, which meant I was viewing her from the side. This definitely bobbled my comfort zone. Within moments, however, I realized that sitting in this new spot gave me a different perspective, literally and figuratively.

We were instructed to assume a stretch pose —lie on our back, lift the head and do breath of fire. Seeing the teacher demonstrate the pose from the side, I realized why I had always struggled with this posture: my neck was doing too much work.

But when I copied the teacher's posture as demonstrated —slightly lifting the shoulders and upper back —I realized I was doing breath of fire with my lower back better-connected with the floor and functioning as the fulcrum.

Debra Darvick

It was more challenging on the center of my abdomen, and there was no stress on the neck. Stretch pose became a new plateau from which to build strength.

That afternoon's class taught me how important it is to move around the room.

We tend to sit in the same place and when we do, we see the same view.

We repeat the motions as we believe we've been taught and think we're good. That simple shift of viewing the teacher from the side instead of face-on has enabled me to come at breath of fire literally from a whole new angle.

Next class, try laying your mat in a new place —by a window or closer to the center of the room. If you tend to hug to the back, get bold and move to the front!

No telling what you'll see. And what you'll learn.

Debra Darvick is an author, blogger, artist and entrepreneur. Visit her site: The Infinite Peacock. 


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