Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Yoga Pose You Hate

Photo by Felipe Silva of @the_lost_portraits.

What's your least favorite yoga pose?

Mine has varied over time: chair pose, headstand, handstand, pigeon, to name a few.

I believe it's normal to experience periods of time where you dislike certain poses, you resist them, and you want to run from the room when the teacher asks you to do them.

Photo by Felipe Silva of @the_lost_portraits.

I have an idea for you.

What if, the next time you encountered a pose that you absolutely don't want to do, instead of skipping the pose or ignoring your reaction to it, you spent a few minutes after class asking your teacher about the pose? 

Photo by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

You could choose to replace resistance with curiosity.

Find out more about this pose. What's happening in the body when you do this yoga pose? What are its benefits? What muscle groups are working, and what are their balancing actions? What happens to the breath in this pose?

Energetically, what is this pose causing to happen? Which chakra is this pose connected with? What emotions?

What about the pose makes you dislike it? Is it the way your physical body feels? The sounds that tend to be happening in the room when you are in the pose? The length of time you hold the pose? The thoughts that creep into your mind whenever you're in this pose? A memory that comes up? The way this pose makes you feel weak, incapable, inflexible, or 'bad?'

Photo by Jobi Otso

Ask questions. Do research. Talk to your teacher and to other yogis about this pose, its correct alignment, its modifications. Maybe even spend a few moments writing down your thoughts about this yoga pose, or meditating on it. See where this exploration leads you.

Perhaps there will always be a yoga pose you dislike.

Are you willing to explore the reasons surrounding why this is? Are you willing to practice detachment? Are you willing to surrender your ego?

Keep peeling back the layers. This is your yoga.

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