Connecting with the animals

At this time of year there seems to be a proliferation of birds and other animals sharing our daily space, and Yoga can help us to feel a connection with these beings.  The fact that alot of our Yoga poses represent animals is not merely a coincidence.  Supposedly, the ancient Rishis believed that naming a number of our asanas for the animals with which we share the world, would allow us to establish a connection with those beings.  There is a parallel story in the King Arthur legends in which Merlin decided that, when Arthur was to become King, he would turn him into a mouse, and subsequently each of the other beings in his soon to be kingdom.  This would allow him to experience what it was like to “be” each of the beings, and therefore show more compassion toward them as their King.  So, the next time your asana practice takes you into an animal pose, such as pigeon, locust, peacock, dolphin, lizard or frog, try and imagine what it is really like to “be” this particular animal.  Try and feel a connection and compassion for each of the animals with which we share the world – even if it is just for a moment.

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