Why on earth is your standing leg shaking right now?
You’ve done Warrior III a thousand times before, yet this front quad rattles as if it’s going to collapse the instant you lose your focus. You’re sweating. Dammit. Sweat means you’re working too hard.
The beads fall down the corners of your jawline and as they pass, you notice it’s locked. Double dammit. How did you get to be so tight? (Not in the “Hey, yo dis is tight!” sense, sadly). As compulsory and involuntary as breathing should be, the muscles tighten some more. In a state of only life or death, not mastering this pose apparently equals brain-cue-to-death.You can do this! Give a little bit more.
Pull up a little bit harder from your front hamstring. Ground your front heel into the floor. Engage your core. Bring your shoulder blades in and back. Extend your tailbone and vertebrae, through crown of head. Rotate your back thigh inward and pull it up. Flex your back heel and push it away.
No! Let it go. Don’t give too much. You’re making this too hard. Soften your face and jaw and close your eyes.
Of course not. In through your nose, to the pit of your belly, ribs, collarbones, back of throat. And all the way out, softly, slowly. I feel my jaw click back ten degrees. That is still a mile far from something short of natural.
I often get lost in having too much hope. What if this one thing—of all the infinite possibilities of things that could happen— happens?! I often get caught up in all that is easy to despair. That thing could never, ever happen. Impossible. Give it up.
There is a place in between hope and despair.
A quiet light. Tilt your eyes ever so slightly and there it is, a raging soft spark of incandescent clarity. Reach out to grab it, and there is nothing. The only thing you can do is stand there. Don’t just do something. Stand there.
I’m standing there in Warrior III, and as I do, my jaw falls back a few more degrees. Gosh, now doesn’t that feel better? Yes, but for now, please, no more questions.
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Sarah Bibbo is a Storiologist. Since a very young age, Sarah has had a passion for storytelling and uses that drive in her work today. Whether through photography, acting or her yoga practice, it is that universal connection of a real, raw and true story that makes all the journey worth the while. Sarah currently is finishing up her 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training at Rising Lotus Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA where she is a freelance actress and photographer. Visit her here.
Editor: Carolyn Gilligan