As a beginner in Yoga with only a year and a half of practice on my mat, there are so many poses that I am challenged by and wonder if I will ever be able to do them.
In class the other night we were practicing bakasana (crane) and svarga dvijasana (bird of paradise). I felt frustrated in my inability to hold myself up in crane and equally flustered by my bodies rigidity while trying to stand up in the bind, never mind balance and lift up my leg in bird of paradise.
As always, after a class that challenges me, I research the poses, watch “how to” videos and practice at home. It has been five days and I am no closer to achieving either pose, or that is what my mind is telling me. Yet, I know I must be gaining strength in my arms and improving my flexibility and balance as I practice. There was a time not very long ago, that I thought I would never be able to hold myself up in ardha chandrasana (half moon). I remind myself of this as I write, but my head still says “but that was an easy beginner pose.” I Inhale compassion for my body and exhale limited beliefs.
I wrestle with my negative thoughts and the limitations of my body. Yoga is hard and that is one of the many things that keeps me going back to my mat and showing up at class. It is a challenge and the feeling of mastering poses leaves me focusing on my strengths, no matter how long it takes this middle age body of mine to twist, bind, balance and stand.
Balance and stand. That is the lesson Yoga is constantly trying to teach me. No matter how difficult something is, a pose on the mat, a difficulty in relationship, fear of aging or whatever, I will continue to find balance and I will continue to stand. And when the difficulties of life twists and binds me, I will still seek balance and stand.