Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it present...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

“Is Asana about getting the pose? Or getting the pose to work for you?”

Asana (Sanskrit-sitting down- to sit down) is a body position, typically associated with the practice of Yoga, intended primarily to restore and maintain a practitioner's well-being, improve the body's flexibility and vitality, and promote the ability to remain in seated meditation for extended periods.

In the past, I’ve spent my practice watching others and trying to GET IT all while trying to concentrate on breathing, softening and strength. Obviously...I wasn’t getting IT! I was also very exhausted afterwards, physically and mentally (I usually blamed the heat). I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t able to do some of the things others could...the competitive ARIES in me always showed up. Through the last few weeks I’ve gotten more flexible, stronger and more aware. I’m determined to be more appropriate during my practice which meant making sure I wasn’t being counterproductive either. By appropriate, I mean a few things. Being more aware of where MY body and mind is THAT day. How far I can push my boundaries, but still maintain my focus and be present. I’ve learned to look at my practice as an entire process rather than a goal. Don’t get me wrong. I can’t wait until I am able to balance a pose for longer, stretch deeper and YES do dancers pose effortlessly, but if I only consider those things, I feel I’m going to miss out on some vital aspects of yoga.

Learning to be appropriate is something I going to reflect on before each practice. Accepting that that’s where I am RIGHT NOW...and knowing that I’ll be further along down the road. As long as I’m strong, focused and present each time I come to my mat, I’ll reap the benefits, mentally, physically and spiritually.

I did my first HAND STAND today. Not head stand...arms straight, hand flat on the floor. WOW, that takes a lot of strength. It also takes a lot of trust. Trust in yourself to know that you’ll be able to actually do it, and hold yourself up, and then trust in the partner I had helping me the first time. I know I was a little us easy...but she was scared! She was only 5’4 and had to catch and hold me...who is 5,9
Nonetheless she caught my legs and helped make sure I was balanced before letting go. It’s a lot harder than it looks...and I’m nowhere near perfect...but at least I tried it. I’m not sure if it was being upside down and supporting myself on only my hands that creates a sense of power, or all the blood rushing to my head. It felt great either way!

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