Troubles ahead and troubles behind – a tale of my yoga struggles

Posted on April 8, 2013. Filed under: Yoga |

Ever notice how people love posting wisdom sharing bits to demonstrate how wise they are?  Or tales of initial struggles and challenges turned to triumph or valuable self-realization?  This post ain’t one of those.  Instead, it is about an in process struggle in my yoga practice – surprise!

Right now I’m in the midst of comical struggle with a pose, and as I work toward it all these emotions keep coming up for me.

So what’s the pose? Adho Mukha Vrksasana, aka Handstand.  Yeah, really.   I’m fine when I get into it, and can be aided into it and have kicked up into it by myself a handful of times over the past year or so.  But kick up into by myself on demand – not so much.    (But kicking up into headstand so not a problem.)

And shush any yogic B.S. like “you just release your spirit and fly, etc.”  Not only is that not remotely helpful it is vaguely condescending when yoga folks fall into such yoga-speak.  It’s kind of the yoga equivalent of a thin person telling someone trying to lose weight – “Oh, I just eat whatever I want and never gain a pound.”  Which I think is legal grounds for smacking them with a clue 2″ x 4″ in at least 12 different states.

Which makes it great fodder to work on right now,   so my teacher is having me just spend part of my regular daily practice just focusing in on it.  Then to up the anty she says don’t get so frustrated doing it…..

Oh, but that is not so easy, because as I throw myself toward it or throw my legs to the wall and it just ain’t happening…I get oh so frustrated.  Little bits of self doubt try their best to nibble at my consciousness.  And I get annoyed with myself.

And I get annoyed with the cats…

kitten_headstand

(Found on the internet…)

Uber flexible show offs!  But so cute!!!!

But wait isn’t his back rounding too much?  Or is that just the pot calling the kettle black?  Yeah sometimes I do round my back in yoga when I shouldn’t.   😉

It’s okay though.  The thing about feelings like those in practice is that they aren’t as “bad” as portrayed.  We have all kinds of feelings flitting through us at all times.  When we come up against something in a yoga practice a whole range of feelings can come roaring up.

But too often we get so condemning of some feelings as being negative or “unyogic” while allegedly cultivating others as being positive or “yogic.”

Feelings are constantly flowing over you but what matters is if you get too possessed by them or possessive of them.  And what you do with them is even more important.   In this case, I’m just taking all that and am motivated to keep trying and working on my practice but don’t attach too much to them.  When I feel frustrated I just put the energy into trying again and then let it go when I’m done.   (It’s only a problem if instead I was diving into it and avoiding my practice by wallowing in those feelings.)

So no resolution yet.  I practice, stuff comes up, I work with it and keep practicing.  Sometime that asana won’t be the mysterious problem it is now.  (And no doubt there will be another one to take its place down the line. )

Crap.  I guess there is some wisdom in here and growth from even an unresolved practice story.  Sorry about that.  🙂

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4 Responses to “Troubles ahead and troubles behind – a tale of my yoga struggles”

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No worries — I’ve been practicing yoga almost 27 years and I’ve never even tried a handstand, rarely do a headstand and I don’t EVER teach either one to my students… In five years I studied with the same teacher (the best I’ve ever encountered) he never taught us handstands. I will throw in this unsolicited piece of advice — poses that take you upside down often touch something in you that has to do with how you feel about life turning upside down or changing dramatically or perhaps a memory of a fall or injury that involved going head first…. They can also tell you something about the state of balance in your life. I think the feelings are just yoga’s gift to you in letting you know there’s something to take a look at… regardless of whether you ever master the pose.

I can definitely see how that work be true for more than a few folks as well.

Michael

Interesting comment! I had a yoga teacher in Perth (I now live in Melbourne, Australia) – and talking 18 years ago, he was my teacher. My son is now 17, so basically, I did yoga before my son was born, a couple of years in and haven’t since EXCEPT just recently took it up again. LOVE it again.

But my yoga teacher’s words remain with me today in the breathing, the posture, the doing of yoga. He did headstands, I remember, & we all did them with him. I was fine with it, liked it. Haven’t tried one all these years though.

Love the cat pic, & love your casual style – ‘yogic B.S’ etc 🙂 Great write!

Thanks. 🙂

Handstand is a nifty pose despite my initial grief with it.

The irony now is once I blogged about it, I started being able to do handstand on demand. So apparently I inspired myself a bit.

Michael


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