You know how, in some yoga classes, the instructor tells the class to simply go into child’s pose, if they’re feeling overworked or overwhelmed?
Well, sometimes it really is OK just to take a break and go into child’s pose.
Confession: For the past three weeks I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for my back. Remember back in May and June when I was practicing power yoga like 4 x’s a week, like a damn fiend? Well, yeah, that ultimately lead to aggravating an old injury. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
At the time, I thought it was just burn out and a little ache from over doing it. But since I’m an all or nothing person, I stopped going. For months. So when I finally I started practicing yoga again in December, I knew something was up when I felt pain in my back upon my first upward facing dog. Womp womp.
It’s starting to feel better, but I couldn’t help but feel so bummed that the week that I’m in Santa Monica – the yoga mecca - I can’t go into wheel, camel pose, and deep back bends, let alone something as simple as upward dog – a yoga pose that scares me, and with good reason!
I could just pout and be mad at reality. Or I could just say screw it, and muster through the pain and further my injury even more. Or I could decide to not go to any yoga classes at all. OR. Or, I could go to a class, and actually take the break of going into child’s pose during any back bending postures.
And that’s what I did. Any time the class went into any sort of back extension sequence, I took child’s pose. When everyone else was in upward dog, I was in a gentle cobra. And even though I didn’t experience the heart-opener of camel or wheel, I did get to experience a hip openers, a clear mind, a new class, in a new setting, with a new instructor, with new experiences.
Too often, we get caught up in going and doing; achieving and driving forward; succeeding and moving up, that we forget to just breathe and be ourselves…or at least I do. It’s very easy to get caught up in work – or anything in life, really, and turn it into work. We don’t have to be the best at everything we do. Not everything in life is a competition. Sometimes life just is what it is, and we can’t fight with that. It can be freeing to accept our weaknesses for what they are.
I’ve been trying to do that lately – not fighting reality by going into child’s pose, per say, in life. That doesn’t mean I won’t work to achieve my dreams, work on bettering myself, or enhancing my life. It just means I’m accepting life as it is right now. I might not be making any sense right now, so let me give you an example: the other day when I was teaching a class, I made a big mistake and accidentally broke a piece of pretty expensive equipment. Instead of making myself suffer by stomping around, replaying it, and wishing it wouldn’t have happened, I told myself that there’s no sense in doing that, because it did happen. I paid for the equipment, and moved on with my day. I took child’s pose and gave myself a break.
Because hey, life’s really about experiencing the joy in it, right?
Even if it might be a little wobbly from time to time
And before I sign off here to head to the beach, I wanted to say a little bit about what made me start back up yoga again in December – a new mat! You know how sometimes new workout clothes make you want to work out? Same goes for a brand new pretty pink mat.
-the yoga mat in the pictures above is from Aspen Yoga Mats, which are made locally in Aspen, Colorado! The founder, Wendy, let me try one out, and I love it! I’m tall – nearly 5’10 – and it’s plenty long for when I’m sprawled out in shavasana. The aspen leaf, native to CO, is at the head of the mat, which symbolizes determination, strength, community, and life. While the mat is pink, the leaf is purple, whose two colors combined promote balance. Pink embodies compassion, nurturing, and love, while purple is imaginative and spiritual.
Do you have a hard time “going into child’s pose” in life?
What’s your biggest challenge with yoga?