So I’m coping with a bad injury and also with the disappointment that I didn’t get to complete my thirty Bikram classes in thirty days. Got to twenty-seven, but I couldn’t do more than a few postures, can barely walk, and the pain in my hip is excruciating. Went for a massage it didn’t help. But this forum isn’t for complaining so I will take my lumps and soldier on. The theme today, as magically happens, is recuperation, in part. The image for 18° Aries is An Empty Hammock Stretched Between Two Trees. The fact that it is empty means that this isn’t actually a time to rest. The would-be inhabitant (us) of the hammock is off doing what needs to be done. But we get the sense that s/he knows that repose is waiting; meanwhile, the image represents the relaxed state of mind in which the “off-camera” action is taking place.

Our dearest friends bought us a hammock as a house-warming present when we first moved to Cape Cod. And we did indeed stretch it between two trees. And, though bitter sweet to think of it now, that image is never truly far from my mind. I would put the hammock out in the morning and go about my busy day, knowing, at any point, I could stop and just stare up through the trees. It’s an image of savasana, the “dead body pose” where one gets most benefit from lying completely still, letting the body absorb the action performed in other active postures. We have to know when to let the body’s intelligence take over, and mindfully release all our tension, which can be an obstacle to natural recuperation. In Bikram, one does savasana pretty much after every set of every posture. There is a natural rhythm to it, where you exert effort and then receive the benefit of it. The hammock reminds us, in the midst of our busy life, that it is unnatural not to include repose in the process of our industry.

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