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