The term pradakshina roughly means turning towards what is right, to move in alignment with nature. When I was in yoga teacher training, we were taught that to make sure that the practice was in accordance with nature, with the principle of pradakshina, we should instruct our students to roll to the right when coming out of savasana (final relaxation; the corpse pose).

Those who take class with me may have noticed that a couple of months ago, I started just saying to roll to your side, whichever side feels better for you.

Why should turning to the left be sinister (latin for left), or gauche (french for left), or subversive and contrary to dharma (left-handed tantric practices).

Left-handed myself, I can assure you that not one of the salesmen in the expensive shop in India where I bought art and jewelry last year cared that I signed a credit card slip with my left hand (though in India it is customary to eat with the right hand and wipe oneself with the left to make sure that one never uses the same hand for both activities).

Who wants to move the right if right means not correct, but conservative, fundamentalist, self-righteous, and rigidly traditional in societies where tradition is paternalistic, narrow-minded, racist, classist, religiously dogmatic, and sexist?

I think turning to the side without the bum shoulder or the clogged sinus or turning to the side where there is more room or a beloved friend practicing beside you is turning in accordance with the principle of pradakshina–even if it means turning to your left.

Practice pradakshina by all means, seek to align with and embrace the flow and forces or nature within and without and honor those social customs that support and expand love and community, but don’t just roll to the right (or teach that) because someone told you going to the right will bring you closer to the divine. It ain’t necessarily so.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


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