As a yoga teacher, I always say, “It’s not about ‘achieving’ the posture, it’s about what you learn on your way there.” Kinda like life, right? It’s good to have goals and intentions, but not everything is in your control. So can we bring meaning to life, bring meaning to practice, approach each moment as an opportunity to experience joy, peace, learning, love?
Yup, but man, does it feel good to “get” a posture for the first time!
And I know, there are an infinite number of ways to explore (rather than improve upon) a posture . . . you never just “get” it fully. I’m still exploring Virabhadrasana 1, and I reckon, so long as my yogic sensibilities are with me, I’ll always be exploring this posture, as though it were my first time.
The other day, I tried – and expressed – for the very first time: Ganda Bherundasana. Somewhere in between pose 504 and 506 (but not quite 505)
Being a complete stranger to the posture, I approached it with warmth, observing at first, then eventually jumping right in. I had no idea where to place my chin or chest relative to my arms, and the idea of kicking straight up from supine gave me flashbacks to Meryl Streep’s unfortunate spinal situation in Death Becomes Her.
(it’s an 80’s-themed blog, clearly)
I tried a few apprehensive times – FAIL and . . . FAIL. A little breathless, I looked over to the dude sitting next to me and asked him how he rocked into it. It looked like something I could physically do, having done several related postures before, but I just didn’t know what to tell my body on the way there.
Hearing dude talk about how he entered the pose, and watching him up close, I was able to get it on try three. Once I was there, it was a breeze staying in (surprise!).
So what did I learn?
- When you’re stuck, turn to community.
- Don’t be afraid to look like an ass trying something new (hehe).
- Surprising yourself feels damn good.