Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yoga Mind, Yoga Body - Parsva Bakasana

I think one of the reasons I love yoga is the mystery of it.  Truly, sometimes it doesn't make any sense to me.  There are periods where I practice every day for hours a day, and my body feels as unflexible as a steel pole.  Other times, I don't practice at all for a few days, come back and feel like jello. (Or, as jello-ish as I can be, which is probably closer to frozen-yogurt in consistency.)

A few days ago, in Chrissy's class, we practiced arm balances, culminating in Parsva Bakasana.  Here is Chrissy demonstrating beautifully (Parsva Bakasana is the last pose.)

It's SUCH a gorgeous pose when done correctly - the asymmetry from the front (of the legs to one side) creates a certain symmetry on the side (with the shoulders being level with the knees) that is totally breathtaking to me.
However, when I attempted it, I felt much closer to  

It was just one of those days when I felt like I didn't know my knee from my nose.  I understood the mechanics of the arm balance, but somehow it just wasn't translating into my body.  I left the class feeling a bit miffed, but quite certain that with months and months of diligent abhyasa (practice), I would eventually get the hang of it. (Ah, how challenging it is to detach from a practice when it doesn't go your way!)

However, the next morning, I woke up, and decided on a whim to try it at work.  (Yes, I love my job - I work in a playground. Did I say a playground? Sorry, I meant a gym.)  And voila!  We have lift-off!  Did it look like Chrissy's pose? Not quite.  Was it recognizable as parsva bakasana?  Absolutely.  

It was such a lesson to me in how silly it is to decide a timeline for things that I have no control over.  I truly thought it would take me months to even get off the ground, and there it was, happening the next day.  Also, it was a fabulous experience to just try something without expectation of it actually working, and...guess what! It worked!  If it feels good to you, try it sometime - take something that you "know" you can't do, and do it anyway.  Even if it doesn't happen, you may be closer than you think, and even if not, it's probably a good excuse for a good laugh!

Have a great day, and keep practicing.

P.S. For more information on practicing parsva bakasana from Chrissy's very funny perspective, check out her blog. It involves a golden retriever. Just saying. 

1 comment:

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