Next up: Hanuman!
Hanuman is a great story. He was born to Anjana, a human, and Vayu, the wind god. Anjana is where we get the pose Anjaneyasana (Crescent lunge)... interestingly often paired with Hanumanasana! Hanuman had godlike powers, but because of some war or something, as in so many stories from mythology, he had to be removed from his mother, and raised by the monkey tribe, thus transforming his appearance to be monkey-like, and his memory was taken away. Without his memory, he forgot that he was divine. So, when asked by the god Ram to take a message to his love, Situ, in Indonesia, Hanuman didn't realize that he could make it from the tip of India in one great leap. So he sat, in Virasana (Warrior's pose) to meditate, to find the power and strength inside of him. Then he made his famous "leap of faith" to Indonesia.
Hanuman is symbolic for us because, like us, he has forgotten his divinity. When we are faced with a challenge, something which makes us doubt our own strength, something we think we are unable to do, we are like Hanuman. When faced with these things, if instead of staying with our self-doubt, we sat quietly, and tapped into our inner strength, we would find ourselves able to do what we are determined to do.
What leap of faith will you take today?
Ganesh has been the inspiration for my classes this week. For some reason, I keep bumping into obstacles myself, and find that a mantra is helpful to quiet my own mind, remove my thoughts from whatever is causing the reactive pattern within myself. Once I've quieted that pattern, I am able move on with grace.
An obstacle in this sense is a reactive pattern that you have developed and that prevents you from growth. You are ready to grow, ready to expand, but find yourself back at the same place again. When you find yourself there, catch
yourself... and replace your thoughts with a mantra, whether the Ganesh mantra - Om Gum Ganapataye - or any other words that help you focus your mind on something other than what is before you, what you are reacting to. Over time, you will find you can move gracefully past that obstacle, that reactive pattern, that you so often find yourself stuck in, and you will grow.
Here is a great article from elephant journal for further exploration:
Kristen is the creator of Indieflow Yoga and Yoga For A Cause. She lives and teaches in Denver, Colorado