Friday, April 30, 2010

They Don't Call It Peacock Pose for Nothing

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Last week, I went on a second "date" with a local yoga teacher. I like him because he teaches super difficult poses that I'd probably never venture to try on my own. Padma Mayurasana (Bound Peacock Pose) is one of those poses, and I fell in love with it because this was the first time I was ever able to lift my legs, which were twisted into Lotus, off the floor. (Never mind the fact that I had to put my chin on the floor to get the leverage to do it.) I loved my teacher's joke. "Remember, breasts are not helpful for this pose ... but they are in about 95 percent of the rest of your life, so deal." But I have breasts (a little) and I could still do it!

I beamed. I was (and am) so freaking proud of myself it borders on obscene. I feel like that every time I accomplish something I once thought was an impossible feat for me in yoga. And every time, I question myself later.

Yoga should boost your confidence, but it isn't supposed to build up your ego. Is it completely against all the principles of yoga to look around the yoga studio and feel just a little bit like a rock star when you're the only one who can do a hard pose? Or is it OK to be proud of yourself and even a little amazed at what this body can do?

How do you find the middle ground?