Strike a pose. Any pose. Preferably one that works for your body and all its wonders and quirks.
I love yoga, but ever since I busted my knee skiing almost 3 years ago, certain poses that used to come naturally now elude me.
Yeah, yeah, yoga is about self-actualization not about comparing yourself to others, or your former self. But we are all human and it takes practice to cut our evolving bodies some much deserved slack.
The pose I’m referring to is not “Destroyer of the Universe” or some similar experienced yoga pose. I’m talking child’s pose, the “resting pose.” Seeing other’s able to seamlessly flow in and out of that common pose was crushing my spirit. Instead of making adjustments that work for my body, I avoided going to yoga classes altogether. Not very yogi of me!
Until last week when a friend shared a story about her tight hips, and struggle to get into a certain yoga pose while almost everyone else in the class did so with ease. She spoke of her internal struggle and self-judgment, and how that shifted to feelings of empowerment when the instructor said, “Aren’t those of you not fully bent over so lucky?! You are already working the pose hard. Others of you fully in the pose, are you working?”
What’s the metaphorical child’s pose that’s no longer as easeful for you? Are avoiding or working it? Perhaps it’s running or another sport that used to bring you joy, but now brings pain. Maybe sleep has become elusive and you fear bedtime. Or your ability to manage workload with a sharp mind has waned.
As we age, our bodies change whether it be from an injury, illness, inability to digest foods we previously had no issue with, newfound weight distribution (can you say muffin top?), mind distractions or other fun discovery. Will you sink or swim? I suggest you swim, and the only choice is to adjust. What adjustments will you commit to?
As for me, my friend and I are scheduling time to do a yoga class together. We will do so regardless of tight hips or immobile knee flexions. The occasional self-comparison may find its way in now and again, but I will remember the wise instructor’s words and create my own definition of what working means for me and my body. How can you do the same for yours today? Go ahead, strike that pose proudly, whatever it may be. Own it, embrace it, adjust it, love it.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™