A Balancing Practice

by Mona Keddy

When my world feels out of balance, I often turn to a sequence outlined at the end of B.K.S. Iyengar’s book Light on Life entitled “A Practice for Emotional Stability.”  In the sequence, Iyengar offers a series of supported inversions, backbends and forward bends.

Through my practice of the sequence, I am struck by what I am asked to do. I am being supported with props in vulnerable and even scary positions (backbends and inversions) and asked to remain quiet and open for long periods of time. I must sit with being open and vulnerable, quiet and steady while experiencing what it means to be fully supported. In doing so, I make my way through the layers of my being to the support always present inside me, the wisdom and lightness of my essential nature. In staying in touch with all parts of myself, I cultivate my resiliency.

The third pose in the Light on Life sequence is Sirasana I, headstand. In the book, it is suggested to use ropes to hang upside down. When I don’t have that opportunity, I substitute this variation of headstand (see video), which is reviving and restoring. It is a great compliment to Barrie’s supported Sarvangasana and Halasana. Together, these three poses form a core resiliency practice.

CAUTION: Please only try this variation if you are already comfortable with Sirasana I and have developed that practice under the guidance of a qualified teacher.

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