For months and months I struggled getting my head off the the floor in Urdva Kukkutasana A (the pose you see above). With help I could do it but I felt a pounding in my chest sending me the signal that I was afraid or just too excited to be calm enough to allow this pose to happen. It showed up this week. Woobly and awkward here it is. Why now? What made this posture appear this week? Was it the physical work or the spiritual/ energetic work? Or perhaps I simply on a deep sub conscious level decided to trust myself and stop being afraid. In order to do this I had to give up many stories "I am not strong enough", "This pose isn't for me", "Everyone else is stronger than me, its a better pose for them", "I am going to hurt myself and be in pain", "Why does it matter if I can do this pose or not" are just a few statements I wrestled with. As many times as I was tempted to give up I decided to keep practicing, forcing myself to practice failure within this pose for months and months. I received so much amazing advice, love and support from my ashtanga community. Frustration turned to anger, turned to defeat, turned to fight, turned to humor, laughter and finally surrender.
Over these months I have examined those reactions and statements and how they control my life. This is where the work of Yoga gets translated to everyday and this is why I practice these poses. I want to feel physically challenged because it allows me to see what surfaces when I am confronted with something hard. Through the discipline of Yoga, I slowly but surely heal myself of subconscious habits that no longer serve me. Ways of thinking that stop me from stepping out in the world to make a difference for myself, my community and my family. How many times have I convinced myself I am small and weak? How many opportunities have I passed up because other people are better at that task than I am? How often do I protect myself from going out there and being outspoken about what I believe because others opinions may hurt me? and How many times have I convinced myself that it doesn't matter?
I have learned that all of these statements may come up. But if I challenge myself and practice my task with the same discipline I bring to my daily Yoga practice anything is possible. And those thoughts... well.... they are just thought, nothing more.
If you are feeling stuck try...
- Set a Goal (a challenging goal that might be a little scary, doesn't need to be yoga)
- Find a coach or someone to hold you accountable (don't do this alone, be coachable)
- Make a plan and set aside time to accomplish that goal (a daily practice)
- Keep track of what comes up to block your ability to accomplish that goal. (what does your brain tell you, does your body refuse to get out of bed, do you get distracted by social media or other tasks, do you get to busy and create new priorities)
- If you stop moving towards the goal conquer those distractions and start again.
- Be patient. This goal may take days, weeks, months, or even years.
- Let go of your attachment to the end result, keep practicing and enjoy the ride.
If you choose to take this on. Please comment I would love to hear what the goals you are setting are and how you plan to accomplish them.
Do your Practice and All is coming.- Pattabhi Jois