Lotus Yoga Off The Mat Challenge
Day 10: Physical Yoga
Do you have a favorite asana, or one that is especially challenging for you?
Today is Day 10 of the Lotus Yoga Off The Mat Challenge and our theme is Physical Yoga. I’m really looking forward to hearing about how you react to specific poses! Each pose serves to open one part of the body or another, and in that physical opening process, we release toxins and negativity and create space for the many health benefits in the whole body-mind-spirit. But as we all know, some poses are more comfortable than others, and sometimes, we really resist a particular pose.
For decades, I couldn’t do triangle pose. I’d reach out to my side, and as soon as I started the descent, my stomach would lurch and I’d feel instant panic. I wanted to vomit! I wanted to cry! I wanted to run away! It was awful. Then I discovered the BLOCK! It was difficult at first, but I could reach for the block on the floor and somehow, that made it less dramatic for me. Eventually, I could do a beautiful triangle and even hold it! But ONLY with the block.
Then recently, I was in a yoga class and I didn’t have a block. I thought that I could do, but as soon as I started the reach down with my arm, the physical and emotional resistance came back in full force. I don’t have any idea why, and that is very frustrating to me. Clearly, I’m holding something in my body that has an aversion to that particular shape, and clearly, I haven’t found a way to release it out to the universe yet. Writing this post makes me realize that I should probably deal with these questions in other aspects of yoga. I welcome your suggestions and advice!
On the flip side, down dog is one of my favorite poses. Yoga teachers often refer to this pose as a “coming home” pose. I thought that was odd at first – I mean, who would think that butt in the air and a pulling stretch that goes from the back of your legs all the way up and over the butt, to armpits, and down into your hands could feel like “home”? But I get it – down dog is a full-body stretch that realigns the complete being. Once I step out the kinks and wriggle around a bit in down dog and begin to take deep breaths, I can feel all the parts of my body fall into place.
And then, when I move from that to forward standing bend, and on up into mountain pose, I feel “at home” in my body.
Finally, the warrior poses are quite meaningful to me. I don’t like the name because it implies battle, and as a pacifist, that’s a concept that doesn’t sit well with me. But that’s also part of what I like about them – that through yoga, I can be a source of peace in the midst of battles.
Standing tall, stretching wide, head lifted out of the shoulders and eyes focused off in the distance, I feel like I can meet any battle head on, and “win”. Yes! I feel that I can “win” without ever “fighting”.
Warrior poses make me feel that the essence of LIFE that is in me is strong enough and powerful enough to walk through any battle peacefully and come through unscathed.
What are your experiences with some of the yoga asanas? Is there one you especially love? Is there something you are currently trying to achieve?
Tell us about it!
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences with physical yoga!
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