Saturday, May 8, 2010

Perspectives are powerful.

The weather has been crazy in SLC, it was snowing the other day. (I worte this blog April 28th , the day it snowed in the valley, but forgot to post it) As I went along the day I could feel and hear everyone’s resistance and anger about the snow. At first when I saw the snow on the lawn as I was about to walk out of the house in my shorts and Choacos, I felt myself getting a little upset. Then I thought about my perspective, I could choose to make myself miserable thinking about how I was planning on going mountain biking, or I could choose a perspective that would help me enjoy my day, snowflakes and all. As I walked out to the car I stuck out my tongue and spun in a circle trying to catch snowflakes. I was thinking these lovely flakes could be the last snowflakes to fall into my mouth until next winter. With this perspective I headed off to school.

Thinking about perspective reminds me of one of my favorite stories, the story of the Nataraja. There are many lessons that you can learn from the Nataraja, I posted earlier (Friday, March 19, 2010) about how we should make authentic offering and not to compare or to compete with others. This time as I thought about the story of lord Shiva, when he was a dancer, I thought about how perspective is key.

The story of the Nataraja is the story of Shiva as the dancer. In this story Shiva dances the ananda tandava (the blissful dance) at Tillai Vanam in the Pine Wood Forest. Two sages, Patanjali (the half snake sage) and the Vyaghrapada (the tiger-pawed sage) were searching the Pine Wood Forest to witness the Ananda Tandava, the cosmic dance. After searching the forest for a very long time and finding an authentic offering both sages found each other at a very well worshiped Shiva lingam. A Shiva lingam is a holy symbol for Lord Shiva that is considered sacred and worshipped. Both sages made offering to the lingam. The Vyaghrapada offered beautiful flowers that only grow at the top of the Tillai trees, and Patanjali offered wonderful seeds that can only be found deep within the soil of the earth. (I love this part of the story I think it is a good reminder that we all have unique talents that allow us to make authentic offerings). When both sages meet at the lingam with their offering, the lingam explodes into dancing Shiva in the form of the Nataraja. When the Nataraja dances the Ananda Tandava, he teaches about the universe and about yoga.

As Shiva starts dancing Patanjali sits on Shiva’s left and the Vyaghrapada sits on Shiva’s right. Its important to remember the Patanjali and the Vyaghrapada could have sat anywhere, and on any side to witness this dance, however they both choose to sit where they did. Both sages witness Shiva dancing this blissful dance, the dance of yoga. However both sages have different perspectives and the yoga and knowledge they receive are so different. In this story their perspective has more to do with where they choose to take their physical seat but perspective also has to do with how we choose to position our mind in different situation. All because of the perspective and position from which they viewed the dance.

As I describe the different lessons Patanjali and the Vyaghrapada learned as they watched Shiva dance it is helpful to picture the statue of the Nataraja dancing in a ring of fire (see picture above). Patanjali who is on Shiva left side see the side of occlusion. He sees Shiva arm crossing in front of his chest and his legs crossed… From this Patanjali see that there is something past the arm and the leg that he cannot see, he learns that you need to overcome the body that you need to move past the body to get to the other side. Patanjali learns a yoga that turns him inside. The Vyaghrapada who is sitting on Shiva rights side sees an open invitation with his hand, leading him toward the heart; he sees the graceful up turned food. The Vyaghrapada sees that you can celebrate the heart with the body, that we can rejoice and experience the heart. He learns that through experiencing the world we can connect to the heart and the world.

It is so interesting to me that Patanjali and the Vyaghrapada witnessed the same dance but based on the position they took learned different things. In this story the empathies is on the physical position about where the two sages sat but it is important to remember that we choose are perspective by both the position we take physically and mentally.

We have the choice on how we see things. In every situation has a darker side and a brighter side. Even the most horrible situation still has a brighter side. In Anusara yoga we choose to see the brightest side in each situation. We choose to see the goodness and beauty. We choose to see the Shri, the divine beauty in all. It is a choice and many people choose to see the bad, the darkness, and the evil of life. But why look for the bad, why not choose to take a different perspective to look for the good.

We can practice this positive perspective in our asana practice. We have the choice about our perspective in every yoga pose we come into. We can look for our faults in the pose; we can notice how we don’t look like our neighbor. Or we can choose to see the beauty in every pose, we can choose to enjoy the brightest side of each pose. We can choose to see our intrinsic goodness, our divine beauty, our Shri, with in every pose and with every breath. The more we practice choosing our perspective on the matt we can get better at choosing to better select our perspective off the mat.


  1. like what you're doing here lady, seems like you've grown and learned so much! xxoo

  2. I love your blogs! Andrejs gave me my mantra during my consultation and told me that Lakshmi is my deva... what a perfect deva for me! <3

  3. Love your mind girl! I'm so excited that I can read your blog now on the days I don't get to see you at the studio for my much anticipated inspiration!


Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...