Ar Rahman Ar Rahim

The Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate. Allah’s Ar Rahman is the masculine mercy and Ar Rahim is Allah’s feminine compassion/mercy. To experience them seperately is a blessing, but to experience them together is utter balance to the heart and body. I can only compare the physical experience of Allah’s masculine and feminine mercy to yogasana. I have been away from Allah’s Rahim in my personal yoga practice for some time now and when I experienced it today it was as if I came home to a place that is soft and familiar. Lately I find myself practicing with the strength of Rahman. Day after day of sun salutations brings firmness to the body yet lacks in reflection of  steadiness and depth of the breath, alignment of the joints, and muscles that may be overworked or too soft. An example of Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim together in yogasana is the opening in the hips in Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II).

The quadriceps and the hamstrings hold the legs in a wide stance supporting the spine to lift. The abdominal muscles also support the length in the spine by firmly engaging yet remaining soft enough to ecnourage nice, slow, deep breaths. The hips are now in a position to open and soften, knowing that the rest of the body is supporting their musculature while they let go into the pose. This attention to both the strong and the soft is where surrender in a yogasana is attained. It is pure bliss to measure how, in the physical body, we can be with Allah. Alahu Akbar! (Allah is Great!)

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