As I furthered my studies on yoga philosophy, one of my favourite subjects to explore was the stories and myths surrounding each particular pose. Why they were named 'Warrior' or 'Monkey' or 'Cow face'.

The yoga classes where I'd felt most connected with me were the ones where the teacher would use Sanskrit, and secondly would feed little stories into the sequence on some of the poses, how they came to be named, as well as why some poses felt more needed at certain times.

I was fortunate enough to attend a weekend of workshops with Sianna Sherman and Masood Ali Khan in February. The way Sianna teaches is like nothing I've experienced in yoga before. She incorporates mandalas and interweaves her sequences with the most beautiful story telling on the myths surrounding the asanas. The entire practice came to life and offered me way more meaning to yoga than I had experienced or indeed understood before.

It really got me intrigued on this wonderful world of mythicism and what we had been introduced to as yoga teacher training students.

I've wondered why I'm drawn to certain poses. How some days I feel I need to breathe in to a pose longer then I might other days, and conversely why some days some poses which I practice regularly are not on my radar at all.

Today I'm exploring Balasana or Child's Pose. To be fair I don't think I've met one person that does not enjoy this blissful cocooning pose. And maybe here's why. Excerpt taken from Myths of the Asanas by Alanna Kaivalya and Arjuna van Der Kooil.

Transcending the Ego through Surrender

'Often children are the best teachers. It is said that Yoga is actually very easy and very difficult at the same time. It is simple because the only thing we need to do is stop clinging to our ego. But that is also the hardest things we can do, given the subtle workings of the ego, which we continually reinforce. According to both the Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita, the ultimate goal of yoga lies in our surrender to a higher power. Yoga is often regarded as a practice that liberates us from the ego, but at the same time it binds us to the Divine through love. And this is what the child's pose symbolises. It is the childlike surrender too the Divine that opens up the pathways of grace. And all past, present and future sages of yoga will testify that grace is what we need, as we are all dependent on something that is greater than ourselves. We often do not realise this enough, and take many things for granted - the ground we stand on, the air we breathe. But it may all be taken away from us at any moment in time. And then surrender is all that is left to us. In surrender we truly open ourselves up to receive,  and also to give. Balasana invites us to cultivate this childlike quality. '

Have you ever explored why you're draw to certain poses?  x

Leave a Comment