Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spider Yoga

Spider Woman, by Man Ray

We moved into a new home about a month ago—a home that had sat empty for several years before we showed up. Spiders had decided to take up residence, and we still see a spider somewhere inside our home just about everyday.

When I see a spider, it isn't just a bug to me; I can't help think about the different roles that spiders have played in myths (grandmothers, seductive women, cursed humans, tricksters). I feel a little less powerful (and less mythological—there aren't any stories about me in mythology, are there?) when my path crosses these little guys. Sometimes they get smashed, I have to admit, but I try to let them be, when I can.

The other night a spider joined me for yoga. She had long thread-like legs, and she mostly walked upside-down on the window blinds. I found her to be a very good teacher. She was so graceful and so self-assured. 

So I tried to do spider yoga in her honor. This involved some balancing poses: sun salutations flowing into half-moon posewarrior three, and extended hand to big toe pose. With my arms and legs splayed out and floating in air, I tried to find the same quiet ease as the spider displayed. For me, this is when yoga is best—I'm not only deepening into my own breath and body, I'm also deepening into the mythological collective. 

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