The myth behind this pose sees the great Brahma sitting in meditation for long periods of time until his mind became very clear. While this quality of lightness was filling his mind a girl was created and stood before him. She was incredibly beautiful. Brahma asked who she was and she answered “Saraswati”. She asked that now that Brahma had conjured her that he provide her a purpose.
Brahma gave Saraswati a beautiful lotus flower for a throne and pure white swan for a vehicle. He told her that her name would be on the lips of those seeking creative and artistic endeavours. It is said that Saraswati presides over the river with the same name in India and that she controls the flow of these waters. With this flow comes mastery of speech and communication.
Yogis are sometimes referred to as paramahamsa, which literally means topmost swan. This is because they are able to extract the spiritual essence of everything that encounter. This is the real purpose behind yoga- to find the spiritual meaning behind all that is in the world.
Hamsasana is a very difficult pose requiring flexibility in the forearms and shoulders as well as lots of core strength. To take it, start in a kneeling position with feet together and knees apart. Hands will be on the floor facing forward and forearms will be shoulder distance apart. Bring the pelvic bones to the forearms and settle the weight on them. This might be enough. If you want to go further extend the legs back. Once legs are straight toes can touch the floor. If it’s still feels good, shift the weight a little more into the hands and tighten the core. Maybe your feet will float off the floor! This is moving into peacock, but a good way to work the core.
Story as told in Myths of the Asanas by Alanna Kaivalya and Arjuna Van der Kooij