Why is it so hard to do the things we don’t like, on and off the mat?
Once a week I attend the yoga class of my friend Ann. In exchange for attending her class, I give her massage. It’s a wonderful arrangement for us both. While nearing the end of a balancing class Ann suggested we chose from legs up the wall, shoulder stand and as I was ready for her to say plow, one of my favorites, she said ‘head stand’ We all looked at her with a blank expression. This is a sweet and slow class, I was thinking, Headstand!!! I looked at the other women with the same perplexed look. Lisa, one of the regulars LOVES unsupported headstand and before we knew it, she was in the middle of the room legs reaching, happy as can be. The rest of us were lamenting over what to do, chose the one we love, or step out of our comfort zone and try the more challenging. I still wanted plow pose, but reluctantly, chose supported headstand against the wall. I kicked up and to my surprise (and relief) felt great! I’d forgotten how confident and energized I feel after an inversion. I realized my practice had fallen into a rut and that I often practice my favorite ‘go to’ poses and avoid the ones I find challenging or strenuous. I left the class feeling more energized to tackle the challenging poses and the first on my list is Utthita Hasta Padangustasana, Extended hand to big toe pose, a balancing posture. I hope to practice it daily, but won’t beat myself up if I don’t.
This morning while doing a DVD in my living room the instructor was explaining how to flow from down dog into a seated position and she said “the trick is to look beyond the obstacle”
Look beyond, the obstacle. I plan to look beyond my obstacles both on and off the mat and step out of the comfort zone.