Monday, May 24, 2010

Ah-Ha Moment

I used to look at yogis in amazing poses and think to myself, "Wow! I could NEVER do that!" Then, I'd go home later, and try it just to be sure. In the very beginning of my practice, I would feel bad about myself for falling so short. Then, as I learned more about yoga, I learned the art of laughing at myself.

This past weekend, however, I think I reached a new level of understanding when it comes to advanced yoga poses. For the first time I was able to bend over in Prasarita Padottonasana, interlace my fingers, bring them over over my head, and actually touch the floor—all by myself!

This is one of those poses I'd seen pictures of, tried, and failed miserably at many times in the past. And I don't think my shoulders or hamstrings have opened anymore since a few months ago... I was just lucky enough to work with a teacher who showed me (through a few very awesome physical and verbal adjustments) the trick to getting my hands to the floor. You have to round your spine just a little. This is something I NEVER would've figured out on my own without the guidance of my teacher several months ago.

And that, my friends, is why we need yoga teachers. Sure, I learned how to get deeper into a pose. But, more important, was the lesson I learned about the practice months later. The advanced poses are more about developing the know-how and awareness than they are about your body's abilities. (And they really are within reach if you just have a teacher who will show you.)

I am humbled to have been able to work with such amazing teachers in my years as a yogi... My practice is a testament to their talents, not my own.

Image Source: AshtangaNews.com