Standing Bow Pulling Pose or Dandayamana Dhanurasana, is one of my favorite balancing asanas in the Bikram Yoga series. It’s a very graceful, beautiful pose that helps me connect with my strength and belief in myself. The physical benefit of the pose include an increase in circulation to the heart and lungs. The pose compresses the spine and improves elasticity. It helps relieve lower back pain and opens the diaphragm and lungs.
In the dialogue setting up the pose, the yoga teacher instructs you to take your right hand in front of you, with your elbow bent at your waist, and bring it out to the side. Then they ask you repeat the following phrase: “Momma give me money.” You are told to not to drop the money, and pick up your right ankle with your right hand. You then proceed to kick your right leg back and behind you, until you see your right foot coming over the top of your head. Your left hand reaching toward the mirror, your left shoulder touching your chin, with your chest parallel to the floor. And tada… one day in the future, splits in the air.
So let me go back to the “momma give me money” phrase. WHAT???? What does money have anything to do with your yoga practice? Often times when money is a person’s primary objective in life, greed and corruption can come of it. Why do we say momma give me money? A few weeks ago, during an early morning class, I had a teacher say before standing bow pose, instead of money today, ask momma for what you really want. And I responded, “Momma give me Love.” Tears followed my response and I went into the pose with a very open heart.
Earning money, gives us freedom, a sense or purpose, puts food on the table, a roof over our heads, an education, opportunities and other perks in life. Finding a way to earn money doing something you love to do is not a gift everyone has been able to find in their life. Not having enough money to pay your bills and feed your children can lead to stress, depression and in extreme cases homelessness. We live in a society, where money matters.
Here is something else I have heard Bikram say in his CD: when you have a healthy spine, you don’t have to chase the gods, the gods will chase you. You don’t have to chase money, money will chase you. You don’t have to chase love, love will chase you. All this from doing yoga? Well what this sweaty practice gives you is the ability to focus on yourself, and to have a higher awareness of distractions to your goals in life and the ability to not let disappointments or setbacks get in your way. If you fall out of a pose, you get back in, without hesitation. So you spend less time in life, complaining, or wallowing in what’s not going your way and finding ways to shape your life in the direction you want it to be going.
As a therapist, I listen to people complain. And I am often surprised how long people hold on to negativity and mourn the things that don’t go right. People don’t seem to expect setbacks, or failures. But that is what links us all as humans, things go wrong, our life, our path gets screwed up. If you wake up everyday thinking that the world will revolve around you and everything will go your way, you are setting yourself up for tremendous disappointment. The more open you are to life being a challenge and having the flexibility to adapt to situations, the more focused your journey will be.
Now back to the money. If you are able to focus on your goals clearly, know yourself, put 100% of your effort into every moment of building your dreams, success will come, money will come. I have had this happen to me. I have been lucky enough to structure my life and work schedule to fit in my yoga practice 5 to 7 days per week. And I do this because my life is better because of it. I don’t waste as much time in life on things that distract me from my goals. And I work hard, so very hard, I create my own sweat outside of that 105 degree yoga studio to produce results. I have a clear self awareness, I know who I am, and what I want. And am drawn to people that exude positive vibes, people that are successful, selfless, healthy and happy.
So what do you want in life? Do you know who you are? Start giving your spine some love and see what happens next.