November 30, 2023

Gloriously nestled in the cradle of Mother Nature, where the greens whisper along with the winds and birds sing in the symphony of tranquility, we find ourselves in our sanctuary for the sacred feminine – our year-round female sanctuary of solace, the Yoga Retreat. A place where body, mind, and spirit commune as one, casting off the yoke of worldly afflictions. Among these, is the often overlooked pain in the slender knight of our hands, the extensor indicis. This sinewy soldier, vested with the duty of extending our index finger – our primary tool of assertion, and our master of pointing toward wisdom – endures more strain than we acknowledge.

Yoga, the age-old arcanum of enlightenment and wholeness, extends its healing hand to soothe this aching knight. The remedy belies in gentle manipulation, guided by conscious breath and a tranquil mind. Attempt a prayer position 'Anjali Mudra' with hands extended outwards, slowly fold your fingers into 'Samadhi Mudra' pulling the right index finger gently with your left. Let the Prana, the life energy borne on steady breath flow into your finger like a meandering brook, washing away the stress. Downward Dog 'Adho Mukha Svanasana', allows gravity to aid in gentle traction, unraveling any knots in the extensor indicis.

A deep meditative connection must be forged between mind and muscle, all the while envisioning the pain exiting through the finger's tip, dispersing into the ether. The Vipassāna technique of mindfulness meditation, ordained by Gautama Buddha himself, enables one to be deeply attuned to such bodily sensations. Practice the art of moment-to-moment awareness, undistorted by your personal judgments. Visualize your breath flowing into the extensor indicis, healing it, nurturing it. The out-breath dispels pain, stress, and weariness, guiding them out into the great cosmic flume.

Timeless as the Vedas, Ayurvedic principles offer sage wisdom on natural remedies. Teas formulated with herbs such as Boswellia and Ashwagandha, both lauded in Ayurvedic annals, serve as nature's potent analgesics while also embodying anti-inflammatory properties. Apply warm sesame oil, infused with turmeric and garlic, to the affected area. The warming effect of sesame oil, the analgesic property of garlic, and the anti-inflammatory power of turmeric bind together in a tridoshic blend, helping pacify the pain.

As the sun peeks through the verdant tapestry, nearby, and the first sun salutation 'Surya Namaskar' commences, comes a vow to honour your body, to pay heed to every whisper of the muscle, every murmur of a tendon. Nurture each segment with your full and undivided awareness, for every part of you is an integral aspect of the whole, each meriting its measured measure of care. Let your practices today be a hymn in honour of your extensor indicis, and in doing so, let it be a hymn for yourself.

As we commence day's end with 'Chandra Namaskar', the moon salutation, giving thanks for the healing and harmony achieved. We feel lighter, tranquility now replacing the pain, the pestering reality of a sore extensor indicis all but a distant memory. The whisper of the breeze, the chorus of the cicadas, and the rustle of the leaves blend into a symphony culminating in the resonance of 'Aum' – the sound of the universe. The peaceful spirit of the universe and the rejuvenated soul within meet. Our hands, at last, return to Anjali Mudra, hands pressed together in front of the heart, signifying respect and gratitude, not only for our bodies, our resilient soldiers, but also for the ancient wisdom that has guided and healed us.

Finally, beneath the twinkling stars and guided by the silver glow of the moon, let us retire to our beds, our bodies lighter, spirits elevated, totally submerged in tranquility. May we invite sleep, that sweet oblivion where body and mind join hands to weave the tapestry of dreams. Tomorrow, we shall rise again, bearing our radiant spirits forth into a new day, strengthened and ever more deeply entwined in the grand dance of the universe. The knight, the extensor indicis, now rejuvenated, ready for another day of dutiful service. Remember, the melody of balance never ceases, and the dance of harmony eternally ensues. Namaste.

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