Anjaneyasana, or Low Lunge pose, is a powerful pose. In a classical Sun Salutation and in my classes, this is the primary pose that we balance on each side as we start to ease into our practice. But have we really focused on what this pose can do for us? Let’s consider that Chakras might symbolize certain manifestations of our psychological makeup in our physical body. In this deep lunging pose, it is both our root and sacral chakras that are immediately being called to awaken, which will naturally uproot a lot of stuff. This is the path of recovery.
We might have learned over time, particularly in our very early childhood, that the world isn’t stable, that there are things to be incredibly fearful of, and that we have little to no power in our lives. We believe we are not good enough, and so put our sense of self-worth in the hands of others to decide for us what we should do, what is right and wrong, and whether we are worthless or not.
We may find ourselves unable to stand up for ourselves and end up giving our power to others who may even abuse us, hoodwinked by this belief that we are not worth respect or love. Our pelvic region becomes numb, unfeeling, silent. The messages it stores, whether actually given to you or born as projections, are ideas of guilt and shame, depression, anger, repression, and avoidance. Of hiding and feeling unworthy of sharing your ideas and creativity in case it is called out accordingly. (Note: Please don’t listen to those people!)
Let the Light In
Encountering Anjaneyasana, we pull back from this invitation to open and release this. It astonishes us: No, this is too much. And perhaps it is, for now, so by all means pull back. Don’t go where you’re not wanting to. Perhaps one day you will want to, and you can approach the tender entry into this stretch and sink your pelvis a little lower, and maybe even draw your tailbone so low that you can open your heart as well.
Anjaneyasana is a big pose even just physically, as we rarely stretch this deeply. So wherever you are, notice what you feel. Perhaps it feels like it is just too much but you’re willing to stay, so stay there for five or six long slow breaths, and notice that perhaps each exhalation allows you to release the grip a little bit, one slow moment at a time.
In my personal practice I have come to almost worship Anjaneyasana for its power to release all of these narratives and beliefs that continue to haunt me. I welcome the breath to soften my hesitation and apprehension, to open my heart up to the ecstatic belief that I am everything, all light and all matter. Let us stay here and invoke breath and space in a joyful devotional dance of self-love to let the light in.