The Myth of the pose and the lesson. Pt.1 by Gillian Taylor
Something that fascinates me, is the myth and stories that surround many of the yoga asanas. In today’s post I am going to look at what bhujangasana or cobra pose has to teach us on an emotional and not just a physical level.
One of the main pieces of imagery that comes to mind when I think about bhujangasana is that of a snake shedding its skin and the idea of transformation – shedding the old skin which no longer ‘fits’ – literally and figuratively - to allow room for the new. It is when we ‘shed’ that we create room for growth to happen. We have to let go to allow the new to unfold.
What habits are we holding onto that are not benefitting us? Change is not easy but the practice of yoga awakens us to a more meaningful state of being so that we become aware of these things and we can begin the process of change. For many of us the snake is a creature we fear – it’s venom can destroy. There is a parallel here to our fear of change – we think it safer to stay as we are rather than risk what change could bring, but if we can overcome our fears, change, can be transforming rather than instilling unnecessary fear.
Change and transformation, by their very nature will alienate some, but also bring in the new. There is a lesson to be learnt in every situation, no matter how painful and scary it may seem at the time. In a world that values conformity and “pack behavior” it’s ok to change. Snakes shed their skin throughout their whole lives, this can be a micronism for our experience too.