Getting Into a Pose You’ve Been Working On
One of the best feelings is when you’ve noticed progress in your practice. Everyone has their pose that doesn’t come naturally, their “white whale” pose. So if you take the time and effort to understand what needs to be done in the pose and how you can get there and then work on that, over time you may get closer and closer to achieving the pose. Perhaps you’ve released any attachment to the pose, but keep working your weaknesses. When your body becomes strong enough or flexible enough, you may just find yourself in the pose and it is one of the most wonderful feelings! For me, the pose was handstand. I have always had a very advanced back bend practice, so my stability wasn’t the best. I worked so hard at finding stability, trying bootcamps, weight training, and crossft to find the strength. I became stronger and was still unable to do the pose. I realized that I might not ever be able to, but decided not to give up on improving my stability in my core. Eventually I was able to get into handstand, my work now is to move away from the wall, but I have a long way to go. Let me tell you though, when I finally kicked up into the pose (after four years of working towards it), it was so exhilarating, it was amazing, I felt so accomplished like there was nothing I couldn’t do. I saw the benefits of my hard work and finally was able to feel what others feel in that pose. Working on your “white whale” pose is probably the best thing to advance you in your practice. On the journey, if you choose to walk that path, you learn so much about your body, your boundaries, your strengths and weaknesses, your overall abilities. So many people find it discouraging or too hard, or they surrender to the fact that they just can’t do it. The pose should not be your only goal, however, know that every pose has a modified variation, or a much deeper variation. Even working with any variation (with or without props) that is in your range of movement will give you an amazing sense of accomplishment. If you have the strength to choose the path toward your white whale pose, you’ll find that whether you get there or not, the practice is ultimately about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy every step of the way and take a moment to feel how wonderful it is that you’re able to find such beautiful movement. The chance to work toward and find poses that don’t come naturally is one of the reasons that I LOVE yoga!