Do you practice wind relief in public?
The wind-relieving pose aka pavanamuktasana—or , to the common man—the farting pose, is one of the poses we learn in the early days of our yoga journey. Just as we learn that many poses are named after aspects of nature and we start feeling very Zen about ourselves, we are introduced to the blatantly named wind-relieving pose.
The novice might be forgiven for thinking this posture has been named after one of the four elements and for preparing to imitate the rustling of leaves or the expelling of breath in a dramatic manner. And just at the time when they are becoming less self-conscious about performing in front of this classroom of strangers and reflecting that Mr. Miyagi was onto something alright, they are asked to lie down and risk clocking up a ten on the Richter Scale of Flatulence.
Later, however, when we have moved on from our novice-dom, it becomes normal, when moving into the wind-relieving pose, for one’s mind to wander. At first, we start to recall whether we ate potentially explosive foods earlier.
Then it moves on, in a lighter tone, to guessing from which part of the room the clickety-clack noise, muffled by a fake cough, would come this evening. This is followed in quick succession by a prayer that it won’t be from ourselves and finally it succumbs to a stifled fit of giggles as the procession begins at the far back wall of the incense-filled room.
While the reader may feel that it is a very un-Jane Austenesque routine to perform in front of a room full of people and would prefer to execute and enjoy the wind-relieving pose in the comfort and privacy of their own home, we must not forget that there are deeper issues at stake here.
Yoga, that beautiful, ancient practice, supports the student to reach ever greater levels of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. What better opportunities is there to work on the attributes of self-acceptance, resolve, strength of character, self-discipline, trust and tolerance than by performing the wind-relieving pose in public on a regular basis?
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Apprentice Editor: Ola Weber/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Wiki Commons
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