No Control Over Change

There’s a lovely posture in Bikram called balancing stick. It looks like this:

The beauty of this posture is that it only lasts for 10 seconds. Of course it goes without saying you have to do both sides of the body.

Now, this posture is not easy despite how short it is. I’ve been working on getting my leg up and extended. I’ve been focusing on keeping my breath under control. But in the last few weeks I’ve noticed something. When I go down into the posture, part of the dialogue is to keep the arms with the ears (as you can see in the picture). I couldn’t help but notice that my arms were not with my ears. I think they were below my ears. I heard the dialogue, I recognized the problem, but I could not figure out how to get my arms back up with my ears. I was not even sure how they got away from my ears in the first place! I told my arms to get back up there. I tried to move them. They went nowhere.

Then, yesterday in class my instructor must have noticed the problem. She didn’t say anything to me during balancing stick. But later on, during the floor series, she told me that she noticed I was able to keep my arms against my ears for all the other postures that were requiring it. That meant I should be able to also do it in balancing stick.

Well, this morning I had the same instructor. Going in to class she told me to squeeze my arms next to my ears and focus on the squeezing part as I went into the posture. I did. Holy crap! Not only did my arms stay with my ears (yeah!) but the posture just got about a bijillion times more difficult. Then I started to pay attention to all the other posture that require your arms to be against your ears (like standing separate leg head to knee and half-tortoise) and then those got insanely more difficult.

The good news is I just had a majr break through in understanding some postures. The bad news is I still CANNOT get my forehead to my knee in standing head to knee pose.What does this tell me? A few things:

(a) I am not in control of when my body will be ready to do something no matter how hard I will it or how many times I show up to class. My body is going to do what it’s going to do when it’ ready to do it.

(b) This new break through, while making a bunch of postures way more difficult, is also kind of fun.

(c) It’s just another example of how I need to be in the moment and accept what it’s time to do.

This yoga constantly forces me to be in the moment. By forcing me to be in the moment so much during class I dare say it’s starting to transfer off the mat as well.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kat
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 01:23:52

    This is my favourite posture, never used to be mind. You have a good instructor there, great advice to squeeze your ears. The set up is the same as Half Moon so make sure you are stretching up first as much as you can, whilst squeezing those ears, before you tilt forward. The stretching up & forward, locked elbows, wrists straight will also help keep your arms with your ears. Remember its a natural human tug of war, stretching forward and backward with a locked tight leg, pointed toes. Your eyes need to stretch too, keep looking forward beyond the front of your mat, see your toes in the mirror. The tighter you are the lighter your limbs will feel! 🙂


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