Yesterday I did a pose for the first time:
Still pretty messy, yet just a couple short weeks ago, I tried this and was nowhere near getting either foot off the ground. What changed? Simple. I did the prep work.
Now, my point is not to demonstrate that I work hard, or to show off any kind of moves (
hashtag yoga selfies). Rather, I want to shine light on the fact that I am 100% human, and like many others, I find ways to cheat the system or take the easy way out, sometimes without even realizing I’m doing so.
One example: lizard pose. In lizard, stacking my front knee directly over my ankle and hugging knee in toward midline for the closed-hip pose, gets pretty deep in that sticky part of my hips. You know, that spot right where it’s just uncomfortable enough that, despite knowing I should stay there and breathe into it, some days I simply do not want to. Cue the easy way out (for me, at least): turning my knee out slightly. I still get a decent stretch, but it feels a little less sticky.
Recently, I changed my lizard approach. I chose to stay with the version of the pose that felt least comfortable, hugging my bent knee in toward my shoulder. By no longer cheating myself from this pose, I took the necessary action to prepare my body for the next step, in this case, split leg arm balance. Just a little glimmer of proof that while taking the easy way may feel better for the near term, doing the work over time goes further than I can imagine.
If you want more info on split leg arm balance and how to prep for this (as well as other arm balances), this site has a ton of helpful hints!