We all have that pose that makes our enthusiasm drop. There we are in class, flowing pose to pose, like a graceful yoga unicorn and then your teacher begins to guide you into that pose. Your heart begins to sink, you know it’s coming, the doubt creeps in and before you know it – you’ve checked out.
“I can’t do this, it’s too hard, it hurts my wrist, my hips aren’t open enough…” we’re all guilty of it. We sit back into child pose, taking a “well timed” break. “I think I just need to rest here for a moment, that last posture was pretty tough, I don’t think I have the energy left for this one as well…”
Notice if this is you.
I try to instil in my students that they should find their own expression of the pose. My kapotasana will always look different to their kapotasana. No two pigeons look the same.
The beauty of yoga is that there is always somewhere to go within the pose. There is never an aspect of a posture you are completely unable to do. Let’s use headstand (sirsasana) for example. As it currently stands I do not have a headstand practise. I have incredibly sensitive and tightly knotted neck and shoulder muscles. It hurts to put my weight onto my head at the moment and it’s detrimental to my practise at this point in my life. However, I still have the option to practise postures to build the strength in the shoulder girdle (dolphin pose) so that when my teacher guides us into headstand, I already have options lined up for me to fall back on. I don’t check out, sit back on my mat, fiddle with my top, sip my water and wait for the class to move on.
The next time you notice yourself slowly checking out of the posture, call your teacher over and ask for a modification or variation of the posture so that you can full embrace that aspect of the pose. If you’d rather not have attention drawn to you in class, speak to your teacher after – this is what we are there for after all.