Why are Bridge and Shoulder Stand two of the most auspicious of the yoga poses?
Perhaps the most glorious of reasons lies in the spot on the back of the head which rests on the ground while in these two “boontiful” asanas. In Tantric traditions, this is the location of Bindu Chakra. While often given short shrift in modern day charkrologies, Bindu (point, or drop) is in fact extraordinary.
As seen in the above illustration, Bindu is on the top back of the head, the spot where Bramhins leave a small tuft of hair on their shaved heads. It is said to be where we produce amrit, or energetic nectar. In our normal upright positions, this sweet stream drips down into the body as vehicle for supreme (para) guidance. If it comes to rest in Vishuddi, or the throat chakra, it remains cool, nurturing not only consciousness, but creativity. However, unleashed amrit typically falls to Manipura, or the navel charka. Manipura is our center of transformative “fire,” and since heat rises, it does so and burns up amrit. Ah, misspent energy!
An anecdote? An inverted posture wherein our head and heart are lower than our navel center. In our two selected asanas, Bindu rests upon the ground, receiving support and acupresssure. Since heat from the navel center rises, in the inversions it rises away from the throat center, toward the legs. Bindu’s sweet whisperings may remain in the cool recesses of the little “pool” at our throat center, or drop back to Bindu, to send its serene messages to our subtle bodies. As jalandhara bandha (the chin lock) is naturally engaged in these postures, moving prana is kept from moving into the head. The intellect is pacified, not fueled.
So, pay attention next time you are holding Bridge or Shoulder Stand (and they are at their best when held, under the mindful eye of a skilled teacher). The ever present drip from Bindu is thought to provide guidance in fulfilling your dharma, your purpose in this world. As suggested in yesterday’s post, the benefits include willpower, sweetness, refined one-pointedness, attention, enthusiasm, creativity, aspiration and a celebrative world view.
Happy trails of Bindu to you.