It's been a little over ninety days since my surgery and I'm happy to say that I am back to my regular yoga practice and now able to complete the entire Mother Sequence. Again. It's something I always want to be able to do. Again.
The full sequence consists of:
- Sun Salutes - 12 postures, repeated 12 times;
- Tibetan Rites - 5 postures done 21 times;
- 2 Standing Poses - held for 12 breaths on each side;
- 3 Sitting Poses - held for 12 breaths on each side;
- 4 Inverted Poses - each held for 12 breaths;
- 5 Finishing Poses - held or repeated for 12 breaths;
- 3 Resting Poses - held for 12 breaths each.
The postures aren't physically difficult to learn or practice, since they can be modified to suit all levels. The mental aspect involves learning the order of the poses, proper alignment and execution, points of inhalation and exhalation, and the focus to keep track of the number of repetitions.
The brilliance of spirit in the whole sequence (and six that follow), is the summoning of the emotions of Joy as you are inhaling and Peace upon exhaling. It took me several years, but once I was able to access those emotions, even for a fraction of my sessions, everything changed. It became the only way to do yoga. The only way to breathe, for that matter, and so I must practice. Again.
Jehangir Palkhivala, the teacher who brought this into my life writes as an introduction to his booklet:
The Mother Sequence was conceived many years ago, and since then it has benefited many people around the world. Not only has it been remarkably effective in alleviating a variety of physical and emotional problems, but regular practitioners have also been rewarded with an abiding sense of peace that pervades them long after the asanas are performed.
I can attest to that. I was a regular practitioner and even taught this sequence for a number of years. A few months ago when I found myself unable to physically perform the poses, I was still able to access the emotions of Joy as I inhaled and Peace as I exhaled. Not with every breath, as life continues to be breath taking. That's why I practice, twice and thrice over.