I LOVE it when instructors admit that they have trouble getting into a pose. Not that it wouldn’t be great to take a class with some super yogi guru who can do everything and has a pose named after them. (I’m looking at you, Marichi.) For the rest of us, yoga practice seems to be filled with poses we like so much that the body eases right in or poses we have a positive aversion to because they’re difficult or even scary.
If I had known ahead of time all the poses we would be trying out in Leah’s 1/2 Vinyasa class last Saturday, I might have felt overwhelmed. But you know what they say: let go of your expectations. So I suppose it was better that nobody knew crow, headstand and side crow were right around the corner! What could have been a scary, intimidating class was transformed into no-pressure play time as Leah’s gentle energy led us to explore the postures with plenty of guidance to move in and out of them safely as well as the option not to do them.
The best part of class came when she admitted that side crow was still a challenge for her and she laughed about only showing us her strong side. It brought a smile to everyone’s face and I’m sure encouraged more than one person to try something new. I remember how it felt the first time I saw someone do crow pose – how blown away I was and how my first thought was I could never do that. But with time and practice, I found that I could sorta do crow, then I was mostly in crow and finally, on a good day, I could get into crow for just a breath or two before coming down to my feet triumphantly.
The beauty of yoga is that there’s always a new pose out there to try or a deeper refinement of a pose you already know. It’s good to reflect on how yoga felt when you first started and how you feel now. What poses are still a challenge for you? Do you have more confidence doing a pose now that used to be difficult or inaccessible?