Where Yoga Begins (Yoga Challenge: Day 3)

I once had an instructor say,”Just when you want to give up, that’s where yoga begins.”

It’s very true, I discovered today. Yoga is not meant to be easy.

I woke up this morning with very sore arms from yesterday’s class. This is not the most encouraging thing to feel headed into a yoga practise, but as I walked over to the studio I decided I wasn’t going to let it get to me during class. Miraculously, the sore arms didn’t bother me at all. I can guarantee that they would have had I chosen to focus instead on the pain.

Lesson from Day 3

“Just when you want to give up, that’s where yoga begins.”

As we sunk our hips down into Pigeon Pose today, I could feel my body resisting the posture. A lot. I found I could avoid the pain that was radiating through my hips if I tensed my muscles and held my breath. I kept my body elevated from the floor as much as possible, as if I was avoiding being dipped into a pool of hot lava below.

Oh, the hips. Here I could feel all the residual build up of tension from hours of sitting at the computer, years of carrying heavy packs through the backcountry, old rugby injuries and the results of my dance teachers sitting on me to increase my flexibility throughout my childhood. My hips were giving me a snapshot of the abuse I have put my body through over the years.

But, this is where yoga begins. I slowly let out my breath and sunk deep into the posture, my fingers gripping the floor as though I was sliding off the edge of a cliff. It was painful and yet the only way out of the pain the tension was causing.

I’m sure I’ll be thankful when I’m 80 and still bending into a pretzel.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.

 

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