When you hate a pose…
Come on, admit it. We all have one (or more) poses in the yoga sequences we follow that we just don’t like. In fact, some of my students even tell me that they hate certain poses!
You know the feeling. You’re approaching a certain part of the sequence. Your most dreaded pose is coming up in about two asanas. You breathe deeply. The fear starts to bubble up in your mind. You go into the next pose. Now there’s only one asana to go. You come out of the next posture. And the mind takes over. Instead of easing into the next position, you reach for your water bottle. You grab your towel and wipe away the sweat. You tuck yourself into child’s pose. You even contemplate leaving the studio to go to the toilet for a minute just to avoid it.
You can’t simply just skip over a position because you don’t like it, because you can’t do it, because you think it’s not for you. The reason it’s called a practice is because that’s what it takes to get there – practice, practice, practice. It doesn’t matter how far into the position you go. What matters is how much you try. That you give your best. Unless of course, you have an injury which prevents you from doing the position – discomfort is OK, but pain is not – in which case I can help you find an alternate solution during the class.
The trick is to control the mind. Remember our series of blogs focused on developing a strong mind? Read over them, refresh your memory as to why we need faith, determination, self-control, concentration and patience in our practices. Identify what it is about this particular pose (or poses) that scares you. Is it pain? Flexibility? Dizziness? Balance? Fear? Trauma? Identify the thoughts and feelings that arise as you reach the pose.
My students know I am always there for them, before, during and after the class. If you are having trouble with a certain pose, come to me and let’s try together to get to the root of the issue. If it is a physical issue, we may be able to approach the pose in a different way using blocks or a towel. If it’s fear-based issue, please let me reassure you. You’re in a safe space within our studio. I’ve always got your back (and the rest!).
There shouldn’t be any stress associated with an asana. Try to relax the mind and body as you ease into the pose. Do what you can. Try a little harder each time. You may see me, or another student do the same pose and make it look easy. Trust me – it’s not. Some of the positions took me years and years, thousands of hours to achieve. It doesn’t matter if the person next to you has their legs behind their head and you’re sitting cross-legged. Anyway – why are you looking at them? Your practice is about you! You should be focused and connected with yourself – nothing and no one else matters.
Instead of focusing on what you ‘hate’, let’s focus on how you can move forward with your practice. Slowly, slowly, you’ll get there.