Be a Kid Again (Yoga Challenge: Day 15)

I love anything that lets me be a kid again.

Today it was “Yoga Jam” at Rocky Mountain Yoga, when we break down a single posture, prepare for it and then workshop it (like throwing in all the ingredients and trying out the recipe at the end, our instructor explained). The posture today was Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand), which is the “project” I’ve written about before. Today was going to be a rest day for me, but when I heard last night that we were going to be workshopping Pincha Mayurasana, I couldn’t resist going to class.

According to an overview our instructor gave at the beginning of class, Pincha means “Feathered” and Mayurasana means “Peacock.” She explained that one of the coolest things about peacocks is their ability to digest poisonous plants and venomous snakes while continuing to look so incredibly beautiful. By inverting ourselves, this posture allows us the opportunity to digest poisons in our systems and shake up our intestines a bit. The poison could be toxins in the body, a conversation we never digested and any residual anger, frustration, sadness or stress.

I love anything that turns me upside down. My mom tells me stories of how I used to freak her out with how I would flip around on monkey bars. She had to learn to just let me do my thing. Today I got to be that kid again. I was happy enough floating on my forearms, but if it also pushed poison out of my body, I’ll consider it a nice bonus.

Lesson from Day 15

Today I just went to play. I could almost here my mom’s voice calling to let me know it was time to come inside. I could have worked at that posture for hours if my arms hadn’t gotten so tired.

Have a ‘play date’ with yoga sometimes. Just go and have fun with it, try new things, explore and come into it like a kid again, full of excitement. If you’ve been feeling heavy at all, this will bring a lightness to your practise.

You’ll wonder where the time went. I promise.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.

The Sneaky Voice of the Ego (Yoga Challenge: Day 12)

I’m beginning to have a love/hate relationship with yoga.

I’m starting to feel the way I do when a high-maintenance friend comes for too long a visit. You love them dearly, but after catering to all their dietary needs, particularities and preferences and showing them all your favourite spots, you start to tire. My 30 day yoga challenge is starting to feel like too much of something that I totally love but that is asking too much of me.

I could pretend to be strong right now or in constant yogic bliss, as though this 30 day challenge has enlightened me beyond all the realities of being human, but that would be lying. In fact, I feel the very opposite. I feel so…human.

I feel the limitations of my physical body, the mental chatter during practise, the desire to be great and to feel progress and the sneaky voice of the ego (yes, I’ve said it now!) For any of you that have read A New Earth, you’ll know which ego I’m talking about right now (and if you haven’t read it, finish reading this post and then pick up a copy.)

And yet I love this humbling experience and how yoga has put me in my place. I have so much power within me, but misused and it will work against me. If I could just get over myself and throw ego out the door, I would truly be able to come to the practise just as I am.

Lesson from Day 12

More on the ego. When I’m trying something new during my practise (lately, my “project” has been Pincha Mayurasana), the moment I start to care whether or not I nail it, I literally fall out of it. This has shown me that our intentions can work the opposite of the way we want them to. One instructor often explains that we can deepen postures if it is available to us. Whether your goal is to place your hand on the floor in Reverse Triangle or stand on your head, the end result is not directly related to how hard we are trying or how badly we want it. Yes, we can work hard, but at some point we will simply be ready to receive the posture – in body, mind and spirit.

Take yourself – your thoughts and goals – out of the equation and no doubt more will become available to you in yoga than ever before. Goals have their place, but will only be effective if you allow the journey to mean more than the destination.

 

My whole concept of goals and yoga has been flipped upside-down. This excerpt is from my goals worksheet from August 2010.

Note – Many people lately have been asking me where I’m doing this 30 Day Yoga Challenge, not knowing that there is a beautiful studio right here in Banff, Alberta! I am doing the challenge and go to yoga regularly at Rocky Mountain Yoga, which is located right above the Wild Flour Bakery in the Bison Courtyard. For more on yoga in the Bow Valley, click here.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.