Each day when you wake in the morning, devote time to rising up against gravity. Hatha yoga counters its downward drag, the quintessential anti-gravity pose being the cobra, where the spine and head are drawn upward from the horizontal. You are no doubt familiar with these types of instructions in a yoga class: Raise the arches of your feet! Lift your knee caps! Extend your arms upward! Lift your lower belly up! This last directive is for the “upward flying” movement of uddiyana bandha, designed to prevent prolapse of the viscera (bladder, uterus, colon) at the base of the spine.
But wait, countering gravity is not just a matter of lifting muscles, organs, and bones. Each and every day, we must do a kind of psychic lifting to alleviate the crush of deleterious thoughts, dark memories and entrenched beliefs. In our DNA, we each bear the weight of historical karma, generational trauma, and the burden of the old way of doing things. Our shared history is full of oppressive narratives such as Eve was begot from the rib of Adam and those with fair skin are a superior caste. We live in a culture weighed down by male supremacy, white supremacy, and religious fundamentalism. These are grave matters. Thus a body-mind practice necessitates defying the dense, oppressive effects of gravity.
Unfasten the ropes, the ties, the fixtures that hold you down. Uphold goodness and kindness. Transcend fixed belief and literal mindedness. The goal is to be light and spacious, to throw off the dead weight of hatred, prejudice, bigotry, and injustice. So like the classic levitating yogi, rise above gravity’s pull. Elevate above the burdensome beliefs that hold you down.