Urdhva Padmasana in Sarvangasana (Upward Lotus in Shoulderstand) registers as 4* on the scale of difficulty.
I can’t think of a more appropriate pose to mark the halfway point in my project to attempt all poses in BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga. Urdhva Padmasana in Sarvangasana not only combines the learnings of a great number of poses covered thus far in the project (Padmasana, Salamba Sarvangasana I, and Urdhva Padmasana in Sirsasana, to name a few); it also carries with it the symbolism of the lotus – so relevant to the midpoint in this journey.
As I mentioned in my post on Urdhva Padmasana in Sirsasana, our greatest experiences on our mats bloom from the mud of the challenges we face in our practice. Like a lotus rising from murky waters, we flourish when fed by experiences that put us to the test – mentally, physically, or emotionally.
The countless challenges of this project have tested and strengthened me as a teacher, a student, and a person. Poses I find difficult or near impossible help me learn to leave my ego off the mat. The daunting task of writing about 200 poses teaches me the value of diligence and patience. Examining asanas I once considered mundane sheds fresh, new light on familiar poses. Each day that I open up Light on Yoga and begin exploring the next pose, I learn something about myself and my practice.
The project is only halfway complete and some of the most physically challenging poses await. No doubt, I will find myself frustrated, unmotivated, irritated, and exhausted at various points along the way. But, the journey thus far has taught me that each of those moments of darkness, doubt and despair will bear fruit in the end. Sometimes, the sweetest moments in life are born from struggle.