Sunday, December 4, 2011

We do what we like

Years ago when my journey into Yoga first began I remember a favorite teacher of mine would sometimes begin class by asking everyone to offer up either a favorite pose or a hated pose; and then she would laugh and include the hated pose of at least one of the Yogis in the room. Years later that still sticks with me as I go around the room in classes I am leading and try to get to know the newcomers and help them get to know all the regulars as well, I will sometimes ask this very same question.
Most of us start up a Yoga practice in an effort to release stress, work out tensions, find peace and quiet...relax both physically and emotionally. Finding a pose that is challenging can be inspiring to some but for others it can add more stress, tension and whatever negative energy the student is trying to leave behind. We do what we like, if we don't like a pose we probably would never practice it unless guided to do so by a teacher. This is not always a bad thing, the poses that we like bring us comfort and we feel accomplished and confident with ourselves in these poses. The poses we don't like can take us out of our comfort zone and challenge us - the key is to not allow this challenge to diminish our sense of accomplishement or confidence. We don't need to perfect every pose we try and we dont need to love every pose either. We should try it out when it is presented to us and without judgement enjoy the asana for what it is, like it or not. If it is one we dislike, put some thought into 'why' we dislike it physically uncomfortable, is it hard to maintain a rhythmic breath while holding the asana, does it spark emotions to well up??? For every pose we dislike there is a reason behind that dislike, if we can work with it and get to the root of that reason we may find that this pose will become a favorite pose. The shift that takes place from dislike to like is a growth opportunity and once that shift takes place we do what we like and what we like includes a whole lot more than before.