Challenging your body vs. Forcing
It can be so, so hard to be patient with any sort of physical practice, like yoga. There are postures that may make us feel like we are failing all the time, especially when others around us seem to be doing them with ease. We all want to be at the end, with the payoff, right now. But we can only be where we are. There’s a fine line in challenging your body vs. forcing it into something we so much want to achieve.
Pushing your body instead of encouraging and listening to it is actually cutting corners. It seems like we are working hard to get what we want. Our red, contorted face makes it appear like we’re really getting into it. But what it actually messages is: ‘I don’t want to do the REAL work that will get me The Thing, I just want The Thing, and I want The Thing NOW, so I’m going to push myself into this to MAKE myself get The Thing right away.’ It’s a little Veruca Salt-ish.
Don’t kid yourself; that isn’t really the work. We need to work smart, not just hard. If you’re not listening to your body when you’re working on it physically, you’re not connected to it, either. Movements can feel foreign at first and in that sense, you won’t feel in control because you haven’t mastered it yet. That’s ok. That’s what practice is for. But if you haven’t truly connected your mind-body-spirit in that pose, you haven’t really inhabited that posture fully. It will always stay separate from you. What are we trying to prove, anyway, by skipping over what we truly need to master something, and who are we trying to prove it to?
Challenging yourself means going where it is uncomfortable on the journey, but it doesn’t mean skipping over all the smaller milestones along the way that you need in order to fully master a skill. Discomfort is different than pain! Your body is not your adversary -- it is what houses the best parts of you, and it is, in the end, your friend.
‘The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.’ ~B.K.S Iyengar
Designer/Stylist: Peggy Khoucasian
Writer: Christie Cole