Kantaka – thorns

«Through the domination of udāna (the yogin obtain) levitation and non-contact with water, mud, thorns and so on» (Yoga-sūtra, 3.40).

Kantaka is the thorn in both a literal and a figurative sense. It is said of “any troublesome fellow who is, as it were, a thorn to the state and an enemy of order and good government” or “any source of vexation or annoyance, nuisance” or “a vexing speech” and finally an impediment, an obstacle. It is interesting that non-contact with the thorns is achieved by dominating udāna, that is the practical current that controls «functions as expression and communication […] This current works through the throat, larynx and pharynx, controls the vocal cords, assimilation of air and swallowing of food. The prefix ud indicates upwards, udāna is responsible for more subtle activities such as speaking and communicating … “(from my book Yoga, from Harmony to Joy).

A few hassles at work will take you back to old mistakes or old patterns that repeat themselves and seem to haunt you. Controlling udāna may help you, so be careful what you say. The people around you, who understand you, love you, will help you understand and energize you to solve what is solvable.


Paryanka-āsana, couch pose

If necessary, use some supports under the buttocks and back and make sure to open the throat, the area where udāna works the most. Try this pose at least 3 times a week. Be careful not to force your knees.

Awareness exercise

Observe how you instinctively react to annoyance. Every day write down your reaction.

Mantra of the month


(bija-mantra of vishuddha-chakra, the throat-chakra).