Sunday, August 7, 2011

Confessions

I have a confession to make. In a very unyogic and self-absorbed way, I have been going around thinking you could never relate to what I feel in my body when I practice, because my body is so uniquely f*cked up you'd never feel what I feel. I'd been teaching asana the way the books say to teach it. And I honestly couldn't figure out why, despite repeating my well-rehearsed script over and over, some of you didn't do what I was asking you to do.

Then one day I had a breakthrough. Bored of listening to myself tell you not to lift your shoulders to your ears when you extend your arms in Warrior II, I demonstrated. You still didn't get it, but as I was demonstrating I got annoyed at my deltoids, those muscles at the very top of my arms, for starting to ache. I can feel them working in Warrior II every time I lower my shoulders. I assumed it was because my arms are weak or malformed and nobody else's arms ever ached holding Warrior II. But on breakthrough day I said "what the heck" and told you to relax your shoulders until you could feel the tops of your arms take over. And ten sets of shoulders relaxed down.

And the yoga teacher learned that humility is not only not thinking her body's better than everyone else's body. It's also not thinking that her body is worse.

So now I know that if I can feel it, you can probably feel it too. And I know you better than I did before, even if you've never said a word to me. Don't worry. I'll only use that knowledge for good.

I have another confession, too. Even though I keep using pictures of me standing on my head to illustrate my blog posts, when I practice I spend much more time in childs pose than I do in headstand. Much, much more.
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