Urdvha Dhanurasana

“Do you have a rod in your lower spine?” someone asked while observing my backbend. Without a pause the samskara surfaced, “It’s those bulged discs”. As I completed the last word of my response my next thought was, “You know they’re not there anymore, in their bulged state. It’s the story, the fear of the excruciating pain and darkness that comes as they pinch nerves along the spine.”

It’s taken me many years to work through those four discs between S1 and L2 with the yoga, and there has most definitely been progress. As always there is more work to do, as evidenced by my return to the impression left by pain and suffering.

Some inspiration I’ve found helpful from Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute: “It is never too late (to think of working with our samskaras and and altering our destiny). We must remember that darkness has no power to swallow light. No matter how small the flame and no matter how dense the darkness around it, it still shines—in fact, due to the contrast, it shines brighter. Similarly, the indomitable will of the soul burns on even during the downward spiral of our destiny. In deep depression we may lose hope, but we never lose faith in life itself. The will to live and the desire to find some meaning in life never dies. And if we follow our undying will we will be able to overcome the influence of our negative samskaras. All we need is patience.”