The 2 Most Challenging Yoga Poses. ~ C. Jane Taylor

Via C. Jane Taylor
on Nov 17, 2013
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3 Yoga Poses That Will Make You Smarter.

Each Pose is the Last Pose.

5 Yoga Poses to Help Through the Tough Times.

I read a recent online article about the 10 most challenging yoga poses.

It listed great postures like  Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand), Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose), Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose), Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I) and Asta Vakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose).

Good choices! These postures all require considerable warm-up and a depth of understanding of the principles of proper alignment. Any lapse in focus will put you on the yoga disabled list in no time.

During my time on the bench, I gained a new perspective on the most challenging postures in yoga.

Are you ready?

Here they are: Balasana (Child’s Pose) and Savasana (Corpse Pose).

In postures like Adho Mukha Vrksasana, there is no room for menu planning or worrying about your job. In handstand, the only thing that matters is handstand. Nothing else exists. In handstand, present moment awareness is a piece of cake.

It is in the quiet of the gentler postures that the mind plays its games.

Child’s Pose is the playground for self-recrimination and grocery lists; your darkest samskaras (repetitive thought patterns) lurk within Savasana. Here, the ego asserts itself like a two-year old in a tantrum and we lose sight of what we’re doing and why we practice.

We practice in order to become reacquainted with our deepest nature (We are stardust, we are golden…). But our ego is like a radiation map, its toxic fingers reaching into every remote crevice of our being. Deepest nature beware!

If the goal of yoga is chitta vritti nirodhah (the silencing of the fluctuations of the mind), as Patanjali tells us in The Yoga Sutras and Russell Simmons tells us in popular magazines, then Balasana and Savasana are the toughest place to quash those damn little vrittis.

This is the biggest challenge—staying true to your practice even in the quietest moments.


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Assistant Editor: Michelle Margaret/Ed: Bryonie Wise


About C. Jane Taylor

I am a 200-hour RYT who would rather practice than teach. I am a writer who would rather paddleboard with my dog than write. My favorite color is red; my favorite word is Shakti. I am currently assisting a yoga teacher training at the University of Vermont and ghostwriting blog posts for small business. I am in the market for a waterproof computer.


7 Responses to “The 2 Most Challenging Yoga Poses. ~ C. Jane Taylor”

  1. rebecca taylor says:

    I totally agree!! I always struggle with savasana~ much more than with anything else (not that i can do those other poses, but at least i can see why). With savasana i feel like i'm genuinely failing to 'do it right', which compounds the problem. I'm trying to more consciously meditate during it but i feel like the only time i'm ever gonna get it right is when i actually just give up and die. Thanks for remining me i cant be alone in this!

  2. No, the toughest pose is mountain pose. I had been shortchanged on getting the alignment foundations in my earliest new-wave yoga classes (sorry, but that's true) … and way back when, yin yoga and years of meditation got me into yoga. Meditation, no problem.

  3. Ramdas says:

    Absolutely correct. Fantastic post.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Couldn't agree more. Love this article!

  5. C. Jane says:

    Thanks, Ramdas. Glad you liked it.

  6. Christine says:

    Yes! Take us back to the reason we practice. You have provided inspiration for one of my four vinyasa assignments due this week for teacher training. Your sentiment is, and no doubt you are, lovely. Thank you!

  7. Steph Clark says:

    “Pulpo”. My favorite word;).