Being Responsible

In class today, I really liked what Cindy had to say about being responsible for your own practice. It was basically something like this, “You are responsible for your own practice.” What she meant, I think, was that each of us knows ourselves and our bodies better than anyone else. Ultimately we each know best how to challenge ourselves.

I am currently taking a lot of responsibility with Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana (yes. I can say that. just ask) also known as Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose, and known to me as, “You know, the one before triangle.” It looks like this:

This is absolutely one of my favorite postures. It always has been. It took me a year to get my forhead to touch the floor. A year! Now I can get it to the floor without any real issue. Some days my hamstrings are too tight, but that is rare.

Of course, getting my forehead to the floor requires me to open my legs further and further apart. As I do, my hands slide from my underneath my heels (where they are supposed to be) all the way up to my toes. Recently I realized that getting my forehead to the floor wasn’t the big deal it used to be anymore. Now the big deal is getting and keeping my hands under my heals while working on getting my forehead to the floor. So this is what I do. This is how I take responsibility in this posture. While I might move my legs out some, I stop as soon as I start to lose the grip on my heels. It may be awhile before I get my forehead back to the floor again, but that’s ok.

Taking responsibility like this means I get to experience discomfort. It is actually much easier for me to open up my legs and put my forehead to the floor (and be holding on to my toes) then it is to stay holding on to my heels and keeping my forehead off the floor. It also means that I get to learn how to understand and deal with discomfort. I think as long as the discomfort is positive, then we all have the opportunity to gain from it. As long as I’m not doing injury to myself or someone else, then the discomfort is positive.

Like today, my hamstrings were quivering. It was not pleseant, but I was not overdoing it or hurting myself. I wanted to quit. I so wanted to stop. I had an argument with myself about it. I asked myself why I wanted to stop and discovered the only reason was because I didn’t like how I felt. Well, tough beans for me (ok. yes, I could apply this same principle in triangle. I am aware of this. I’ll consider it). I made myself stay with it and as I am writing this I am proud of myself for doing that. I got a little stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. That’s what moving through discomfort has the potential to do for us. Not just in yoga but in any situation.

In the meantime, my hamstrings are getting a killer workout. Cindy tells us that eventually our hamstrings will get themselves all nice and streatched out. I am happily awaiting my day.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Dec 03, 2014 @ 06:00:54

    Being Responsible #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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