Sunday, February 19, 2012

Practicing yoga

This is not a happy day in my body, not a happy day at all.

Let's rewind...I've mentioned my personal trainer before, she has taken me so far down this path with excellent advice. To my credit, I listen and follow her advice about 95% of the time. It's that 5% deviation that gets me in trouble...and that deviation would explain the litany of pain I'm in today.

There is a yoga move that I badly, oh so badly, want to conquer. I dream about this move -- really, really. As in some mornings I wake up smiling believing that I did this move in my sleep and today, I'll be able to do it in class or in my home practice.   This asana is yoga to me. It represents everything I feel I am not - poised, calm, steady, controlled...just perfection.

Meet my nemesis

Salamba Sirsasana taunt me so....

Of course, there are prep moves to work towards this asana - no one just goes into it, and yes, I've been diligently practicing...this is where I am now

I'm totally able to do step 3 and step 4. Can get my knees up right there and hold them like a champ. 

Remember my trainer? Okay, her advice is with everything (not just yoga) is to,  


Remember that 5% where I do not follow her advice?  Yeah, it comes in here.

It is so maddening to have my knees up, tucked, and know that the asana is right there.  One leg pushes up, but when the second leg tries to meet it, the core strength gets overwhelmed and **BAM** down, with zero control over how the crash happens. So far I've hurt both wrists, two fingers, upper back, mid back, and a knee. 

(Yes, there is also an option to do this up against a wall....that's so cute...)

Today I'm home hurting - everything freaking aches, especially my back. Several massive crashes this weekend working on this asana, and every time I pushed it further than I should have. 

Total yoga fail

in every possible way.

All kidding aside though, this move really illustrates my problem with, well, life. I cannot seem to be happy where I am at this moment -- the limits must be pushed at all times, consequences be damned. 75 minutes of cardio a day?  Add another 60 minutes spin class.  2 mile run? Why not 3? Lose 5 pounds in a month? Try for 10 next time. 

How's that working out for me? Not so good actually, thanks for asking, as I look at the clock to figure if I can take more ibuprofen yet. 

The problem is that I can never just stop, breathe, and be happy where I am RIGHT NOW.

Yoga is life in so many ways. The calm, poise, control that I seek in this asana is never going to come until those qualities start to seep over from my day to day life. Those qualities are not found on the gym floor, or the treadmill, but in the quietness of meditation, reading, and living out what I study amidst a sea of change and challenges.  It's never going to come until I accept reasonable limits to everything and stop letting the ego take over my body and my life. 

Oh, I can probably bully my way into this asana at some point, but it won't feel the way I want it to; I'll know how I got there, and it'll feel like a cheat. Then the internal issues will just continue on and on and on.

So my next challenge? Hold the 'bent knee' part of the headstand for 30 seconds, breathe in and out with control, then let the knees drop.  Then with a smile and an open heart, thank my body for all the hard work and my inner teacher for the patience and instruction.

That is what practicing yoga looks like

Thoughts to take with me today:  Sometimes I think losing the weight is the easy part of this journey. 

1 comment:

  1. A truly beautiful post! I struggle with this too, on a daily basis. I see how far I've come and I know where I want to be and I keep pushing it so hard and so far that I wind up setting myself back.

    It's hard to step back and just enjoy the ride but I love that you have a specific task, a specific goal that forces you to literally live in the moment. I hope to find that "thing" for me some day.