People are often fascinated with what they see in physical form. I know I was - and getting over it has been one of the biggest lessons I have ever had to learn.
When I am teaching a yoga class or simply practicing, I am often asked to teach this pose, Pinchamayurasana (Peacock with Tail Feather Extended) because it is such a beautiful and elegant pose. This pose displays strength, determination, grace and agility and it took me about 11 years to master and be able to hold. That’s right peeps, THIS was not an overnight thing.
As a Yoga Teacher, I often see people trying so hard to rush the process, thinking that the end result is somehow going to make them better in some way. Let me tell you, after 11 years of trying to get my ass over my hips and balance there, I am in no way a better person than I was in Dolphin Downward Dog (the prep pose for Pinchamayurasana) and that’s the reality.
Energetically, it is the same pose and I’ll let you in on a little secret, even saying the Sanskrit name of the pose, pin-cha my-your-AHS-anna brings about the same energetic shift in the cells of your body as performing the pose does. Crazy right?
So why do poses in the first place? Well, everyone has their reasons. As I understand it, the ultimate aim for yoga practitioners and spiritual aspirants is to be able to sit in meditation with a still mind, yes you heard right, a mind that is not harassed by constant thought.
For a neurotic, crazy, creative soul like me, even the idea of this was intimidating and through discovering yoga, I learned that I could use my physical body in combination with placing my body in certain ways combined with breath to achieve a meditative state.
And guess what? It worked. During my 11/2 hour daily yoga practice, I am, for the most part free of my thoughts, worries, fears, limitations, boundaries, individualism and emotion.
I have also learned, after all this time through practicing these poses, to sit in still meditation. I know, miracle right?
So the point is and has never been the fancy, shmancy poses. They are wonderful and fun and I definitely feel incredible after embodying them but they are not the goal people it is more about accepting your process, whether it takes you a month, a year, 11 years or 25 years the point is that you are respecting the opening that your body is ready for.
For those of you just starting out on the yogic path and those of you who have been practicing for years, this practice can be the best gift you can give yourself. Sure you may not be able to do the poses, that’s fine. I could barely touch my toes when I came back to my practice after years of not practicing. But doing the poses, with breath, regularly has made me a more compassionate, self-loving, positive, devoted, self-respecting, joyful and courageous person. Don’t ask me how or why. I dunno. And the truth is, I don’t really care to know. I’ll just continue to accept the gift as it is given.