I don’t think there is a yogi out there who hasn’t had this happen to them.
It can happen two ways.
The first (and in my opinion, easier to deal with) is when you start of with…let’s say a strong dislike…of a particular posture. And then one practice, you suddenly realize you are happy in said posture! Or maybe, it didn’t happen in a flash—maybe gradually you grew to love it. Either way, your muscles and joints loosened up and mentally and emotionally you evolved.
Then there is the second way it can happen.
When you start off loving a posture and somewhere along the line you start to really dislike it. This is a less fun experience.
Perhaps this has happened to you? Perhaps they both have?
They have both happened to me.
Pigeon was the posture that I hated at first. Physiologically, my body did not agree with it. After six or so years of intense running and cycling, my hips, psoas, I.T band, hamstrings and inner thighs were somewhat tight. Each time the teacher would cue the class into pigeon, my heart would sink and my body vociferously protested against the posture.
And I can’t remember when it happened, but I started to crave pigeon. My body still felt tight and uncomfortable but the tension in my hips slowly started to release, along with a great deal of emotional tension that I had been holding onto.
Ah, such a happy ending.
Sadly, I am still in the throes of the second situation.
My poison? Setu Bandhasana. (This is when you are balancing on the outside edges of your feet and the crown of your head.) Oh dear God. I used to love Setu when I first learned the primary series. I loved the arc that stretched from head to foot and the precarious combination of strength and balance. Now, though, now as I near Setu in the series, I can feel my nose wrinkling in distaste.
I have asked several teachers, re-evaluated my alignment and for all I can tell, I am not doing anything wrong. Physically, Setu strengthens the neck and back, tones the spine, opens the chest, hips and quads. It is emotionally invigorating. Nothing there seems like it should be a roadblock for me, yet Setu Bandhasana remains a thorn in my side.
Morven Watt is an avid runner, mountain biker, skier, swimmer…basically anything sporting, so yoga was not something that she was initially drawn to. However, Ashtanga resonated with her, and since she started a little over a year ago, she has made it her mission to learn how to integrate yoga into all her other sporting endeavours. She is a 500 hour RYT and teaching is something that she is passionate about, hoping that her dynamic classes will resonate with athletes and help bring more of them into the world of yoga. Along with yoga and sports, travel, writing, cooking, reading and music are all things that she loves to do. Being 24, and having only discovered yoga about 18 months ago, she knows that she still has a lot to learn, but fortunately that just makes her happy!
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Editor: Bryonie Wise