Yoga is a never-ending practice of self-exploration. Each practice is different. What I can do one day, I may not be able to to the next. On the other hand, what was once difficult can also become obtainable. The same is true in life. My yoga practice allows me to check-in with my body and mind for 75-90 minutes and explore the possibilities and boundaries for the day. Being a somewhat “type-A” personality, I like to challenge myself, working on guiding my body into new, often difficult poses – preferably without hurting myself. The key here is to listen to my body’s signals, and know when to stop. I may not be ready to get there today, but maybe next time.
Headstand is one of those yoga poses that I thought I would never be able to do. It just looked too scary to me to even try. But I did try it and thanks to my wonderful yoga instructor Suzanne and the intention that I set for myself to overcome my fears, I now can do it with very little effort, and no fear. I don’t even need the wall (most of the time!).
Next, I challenged myself to learn Firefly, or Tittibhasana, as it is known in sanskrit. This is an arm balance pose that requires a lot of core strength. My instructor told me how to start out using blocks to get into the pose at first I then looked at some pictures and videos online showing the full pose and little by little I have been able to accomplish it. No longer using the blocks, I can now hold the pose longer and get my legs out straighter at each new attempt. If I fall out of the pose, I just try again. No judgement. I found this video online that gives a good explanation of the pose. Next up: Side Crow!
What I have learned through challenging myself in yoga is that whether or not I am able to do the full pose is irrelevant, it is that I keep trying, accepting each days’ accomplishments for what they are, without judging myself. I may never achieve the full pose, and that’s ok. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Now the biggest challenge is to take this into my life off the mat.
What challenges are you working on?