I was in a yoga teacher training session. We were discussing
principles of alignment and energy. I think this suggestion will be with me for the rest of my life.
I had thought softening was for relaxation, for times when I could let down my guard, when there was nothing necessary to achieve. I now had a new perspective:
When in circumstances of uncertainty, soften and
open to the experience.
- When finding myself in circumstances of unwanted
resistance soften and open to the experience.
When feeling unwanted sensations and emotions,
soften and open to the experience.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose) can create any, even all the above. Uncertainty, resistance, intense sensations and emotions are all possibilities with deep backbends. Releasing the impulse to control creates an opportunity to free the restrictions of our body and emotions.
The power of softening into the experience makes backbends more accessible and “reinforces our desire to embrace life” (Kelly McGonigal).