Thanksgiving weekend I finally was able to get into Dancer Pose. It wasn’t the prettiest, it certainly wasn’t notable to most yoga practitioners out in the world, but for the first time my shoulders were open enough that I actually had the foot in both hands. Amazing. It’s the best
feeling in the world to finally understand what is needed to accomplish a posture and grasp it in the body, mind, and spirit.
As the weeks passed by and we headed towards Christmas I was able to get deeper and deeper into the posture, each time giving me a better understanding of what was needed. I knew this posture. We had a relationship. We finally met, understood each other, and had a great respect for one another. It was a great friendship. And then, out of the blue…we stopped communicating and lost touch with one another.
The holidays approached and my practice went from 4-5 times a week to about 3 times a week as I enjoyed time with my husband during his time off and spent time with family and friends eating and drinking things I normally wouldn’t. That’s what the holidays are for – friends, family, food, and fun, right?
And I thought Dancer Pose would wait and be there for me, happily awaiting my return to my regular practice like my middle school best friend after school break has finally ended, waiting at my locker ready to share their experiences with me in our time apart. But, man was I wrong. I was back to square one trying like mad to finally get my foot in both hands. What went wrong?
Well….nothing, really. The thing is our relationship wasn’t as strong as I thought. I thought we were brand new BFF’s when in all actuality we were mere acquaintances. I had more to learn about Dancer Pose. I had just scratched the surface and the posture had a lot more to teach me, not only about it self, but myself as well.
So, everyday I would attempt the posture once again and fall seriously short. The body was no longer as open as it had been, I had forgotten what I had already learned, or maybe I simply no longer believed that I could do it. Who knows?
And then last week it came back. I had worked for almost 2 months to get back to where I was before Christmas…and it was totally worth it. I understand this posture so much better now and it was worth taking the time to go back to the beginning. It was frustrating, confusing, and made me wonder what the heck was going on.
“I used to be able to get both my feet in my hands for Bow Pose.”
“I used to be able to go back in Fixed Firm.”
“I used to be able to kick out in Standing Head to Knee.”
“I just don’t understand.”
And I tell them to simply be patient, let the body be where it is today, but also hold onto the fact that the body at one point understood it and could accomplish it. Or maybe you hadn’t totally understood it at all, but are now working in the right way, allowing the body to open up and gain strength in the right places to finally grasp what you thought you already knew.
What I do know is that the times in life where I realized that I was failing in any area, whether it be my career, my friendships, my marriage, or my relationship with money I was headed towards a lesson I would not trade in for any amount of success. We all reach for success, as we should, but success doesn’t teach us anything. When we achieve success we simply try and repeat it. When we fail, we learn. And that’s what you come to the yoga studio to do – to learn to be a better person, a better yogi, to live a better life.
So, don’t worry about what you were once able to do. Maybe you were brought back to the beginnings of a posture for a reason. Maybe you will have a better understanding of the posture and of yourself by the time you get to where you would like to be. All I know is I’m never going to stop trying and I hope you don’t either. Trying in spite of what we perceive as failure or limitations paves the road to success. Let go of what was and always reach for what’s possible. The strength and beauty inside you might seem hidden, but it’s yours. Find it, embrace it, and embody it – today and everyday. You are always where you need to be.
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