make peace with your asana

make peace with your asana

life can be rough…yoga shouldn’t be.

this summer, we’re setting out to make peace with our poses…and ultimately ourselves.

most of us have had the experience of pushing or pulling ourselves into a pose…as if using more force will solve everything. sometimes our brain overdoes it: we wonder if we’ll ever get it…sometimes we wonder “should i even try?”…and sometimes our body says “no, no…oh hell, no.”

it doesn’t have to be like that.

poses can be peaceful…even if they’re not easy.

to make peace with any asana, we’ve created a four-step process.

1. the first questions to ask about any pose is: what am i trying to do? knowing what’s important to you will help you know what to focus on in the pose.

2. the second step is understanding what parts of your body need to strengthen in order to practice the pose effectively (and safely). being grounded and integrated will not only help you get into postures…it will improve your overall posture, strength and body awareness.

3. the third step is understanding what parts of your body need to lengthen or open to create the basic shape of the pose. preparatory poses and stretches are key to developing flexibility and range of motion. (you may have noticed we never start practice with wheel or frog.)

4. finally, it’s important to understand what modifications of the pose are possible and what each one does for your body. this helps you align the practice of the pose with what it is you want to achieve. for instance, if you’re working with eagle pose and your goal is to improve balance, your modification might look really different than someone who’s goal is to develop hip and shoulder flexibility.

when we start to break poses into their component actions and purposes, the practice becomes kaleidoscopic with variations and explorations…we may never actually get to the “textbook” image of the pose, but who wants to read a textbook anyway.