I love elephants and their innate strength, confidence, discernment, compassion. Elephants teach us that gentleness, commitment, and loving communication in relationships is very powerful and necessary to keep relationships not only alive but thriving. This teaching holds true in the most valuable and often-neglected relationship of honoring our self.
In the asana practice it is easy to get carried away in the feeling and look of a pose, sort of like wandering away from water or the life force that creates the feeling and is expressed in the form. When we pursue more acrobatic asanas this is truer of our nature, and like an elephant we must recall our innate nature, communicate and temper our desire to do, and settle into our ability to be, gentle while strong.
To practice eka hasta bhujasana (elephant’s trunk pose) begin seated with both legs stretched long in front of you. Inhale to draw your left knee in toward your chest and lift the left foot off of the floor, drawing the knee back behind your shoulder. Place your hands on the ground next to your hips and draw a deep breath into your innate strength, squeezing your left leg into your shoulder and your right leg into the midline of your body.
Exhale, pressing into your hands as you lift your front foot, hips, or both away form the earth. Breath. Smile. Communicate words of love to your self in the face of your effort.
Release, switch sides, and enjoy.