Finding Balance in Boundaries

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I think I need to try a yin yoga class.

My yoga instructor occasionally weaves a few of these asanas into our Hatha class but I think I might be ready for more. You see, if I’m uncomfortable in a pose, I grit my teeth for the five breaths and then move on, relieved that part is over. With a yin class I would have to push through the teeth gritting process.

I would be forced to accept where I’m at.

Most often,  my personality caters to “going with the flow” just to see what happens but for years I’ve dreaded downward dog. I can’t say “hate” but it’s right up there with the dentist. And taking out the trash.

It could be partially due to my weight but I remember traveling lighter [back in the day] and still feeling this way.  Frankly, this pose hurts my wrists and it does some crazy thing in my cervical joints which immediately gives me a headache from the pressure.

Basically I can’t wait until it’s over.

Like a good yogi, there are times where I’m totally gentle with myself by coming into child’s pose with my forehead flush against my mat – which has the added bonus of traction and causing all sorts of awesome releases throughout my spine. [It’s delicious.] However, there are times I feel the need to be firm with myself. The mental chatter that surfaces when a train wreck is going on in my body sometimes has a way of talking me out of feeling the difficult things I probably should.

Balance exists when I know my body needs a break and when I need to push through.

I’m learning to pay attention – especially early on in class.  If I find myself clenching my jaw more than usual at the beginning of practice, then that is a day I need to be gentle with myself.

And of course, there are days when I need to buck up and own it. I need to push myself up against that boundary like a passionate embrace. I need to look it in the eye and say, “I want you.”

 

Photo credit: YogaJournal.com and Marty Sconduto

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