"Lift, reach, twist, arch" bellows my teacher Shy Sayar's smiling voice from the back of the class room to try and be heard over the screaming cicadas outside. Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, Revolved Side-Angle Pose. I feel a bead of sweat run down across the inside of my lower ribs, watch it splash onto the purple mat, leaving a darker speck: I must be working hard.
So how is this pose helping me become aware of my interdependence? How is this simulating the challenges of life as I fan open my top arm? Twisting deeper, I free my breath as I draw my sit bones into my hamstrings, arching my upper back through my chest to twist and reach it up towards the sky. My thighs burning, twisting and pulling away from each other. I sit. Deeper. I breathe into the pit of my abdomen where my breath, as if welcoming home an old friend with open arms, embraces all my thoughts of discomfort, screaming to get out and give up. There, in my own centre of gravity, are all my thoughts quietened, softened, stilled so that the suffering isn't quite so strong. So I practice, I turn up, I look experience in the eye and see it come in and out of existence. Experience coming into being and just as quickly fading away. Life is momentary. Each moment, although often experienced as eternal, changes, transforms and if you let it, can be freed from suffering.