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Asana 101: Sticking it to the Pose

October 7, 2016 by Gail Asbell

If we had a dollar for every yogi that said they unconditionally love every single yoga pose in the book, we would be broke.

Because, as with most things in life, we tend to find what we love and stick with it. We get all familiar and homely in our yoga practice, and avoid veering away from that so as not to bring on mental discomfort.

We get too comfortable and avoid challenging ourselves in one way or another, and the fear of becoming complacent plays on us, like when our teacher instructs camel pose and we feel guilty for just wanting to keep our back sides on the ground.

Sometimes, our body and mind needn’t be challenged, and we find liberty in allowing ourselves and our bodies to say no and stay put.

On other occasions, however, we tend to feel a little disappointed in ourselves for not overcoming our hatred towards a yoga posture, and wish we had of just given it a go if we were feeling physically up to it. And if this isn’t a metaphor for another million subjects in life, we don’t know what is.

With this in mind, we share some tips to slowly befriending your most hated postures and therefore reaping the benefits of mentally letting go of boundaries.

Find out what it is about the pose that you struggle with

If it doesn’t feel good on a physical level, perhaps the pose really doesn’t suit your body at an anatomical level, or is worth exploring further with a medical professional. If, however, it is the discomfort of just being present in that pose, practice holding for just a few seconds at home, and gradually build up from there. Additionally, you might enjoy downloading a meditation app to help you to become more mindful and at ease in your still moments, as the slower paced yoga postures seem to be where we struggle the most.

Seek adjustments and props.

Research the Internet, seek advice from your teacher, and chat to fellow yogis. Chances are, someone felt the same way about the pose until they received a game changing adjustment or piece of advice that helped support and uplift them.

Take it back to the beginning.

Is your hatred towards a posture stemming from the fact that you have been launching yourself into the advanced variation? Give your ego a rest and pare it back to the pose in its simplest form. Get to know where it likes to go for a good meal and what film it is excited to see, rather than trying to go all the way to third base from the get-go. Explore the posture, break it down and feel into it. Notice if you felt anything different and keep a journal as you build on that.

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