9th Position: Ashwa Sanchalanasana ( equestrian pose)
Now, lift your head and look through your hands to focus on the spot where you want to place your left foot. Do not lift the foot to bring it between your hands. You may find yourself locked in an awkward position. On the other hand, make a forward movement, as if you are rocking on your toes and allow the foot to glide forward into ashwa sanchalanasana (equestrian pose). Or else, visualise the movement as happening in your body.Allow your muscles to record your visualisation at the cellular level; now physically let your body replicate your visualisation. You will be amazed at how well your body responds! This is the power of deep visualisation techniques.
As you inhale,lift your face and chest Allow your spine and limbs to stretch the new found energy in an attitude of deep celebration. Focus on your ajna chakra, the third eye centre, the space of spiritual awakening,corresponding to the pituitary and pineal glands.
A few points of interest:
Avoid using your hand to physically move the leg forward at all times, more so if you are a beginner. Its a tricky, awkward balancing moment.The whole point of yoga is to honour and respect your body and understand what it is telling you about your mental -emotional structure. Achieving the posture at all cost, any-which-way is not important. Knowing your limitation and working on it is the way to real progress. As you go deeper and deeper and work with your body and breath and learn to let go, you will find that soon you will be moving into the posture more gracefully and completly. Ahimsa, non-violence, begins with the body! Making your body do something forcibly, when it is not ready for it is the worst form of himsa which will get translated at an energetic level asintolerence and violence, to yourself and to your environment.
Some practitioners bring the same foot that they used to step back in the 4th position forward in the 9th position, i.e. if they had moved the right foot back then the same foot is brought forward. The advantage here is that there is no confusion in the usage of which leg was used to move into the sun salutation; makes keeping track of the number of repetitions easier! More importantly,at the physical level, both sides of the body get deeply stretched on either side of the spine. Symmetry and balance is achieved with every repetition. The body experiences a total ‘work out’.
Another way of doing this is: when you take the right foot back in the 4th posture at the begining of a sun salutation, you bring the left foot forward in the 9th position. The purpose here is to work on both the masculine and feminine energy in every repetion and make things whole and complete at the energetic level. Note that any movement on the right side of the body is controlled by the left (male) hemisphere of the brain and any movement on the left side of the body is controlled by the right ( feminine) hemisphere of the brain. Therefore, when both legs are used in this manner, equal importance is given to expressing the yin-yang, shiva-shakti composition within. A sense of poornatvam, wholeness, is experienced at the energy level. It is up to the practitioners to decide whether they want to focus on the physical or energetic level and create their practise accorgingly.
Chant: om hroom adityaya namaha…salutations to the son of Aditi, Mother Earth.