Have you seen this pose?
This pose scares the crap out of me. It always has. In Wheel, your feet are on the ground, but you're upside down. There's also this sense of vulnerability. for one - somewhere in the back of my head, I assume that some day, I'll break my neck. For another - although everyone else is in the same position, I have this fear of someone poking me in the belly - Doughboy-style.
But a couple weeks ago, I did it without fear. (I did not look like the picture.) The teacher asked us to put a block between our legs. The idea was to remind us not to splay our knees.
What it did for me though - was kept me from throwing my hips up higher than I really was ready to.
Do you ever do that in life? Push yourself a little harder than you really should? I do! Has it ever occurred to you that holding back a little might actually be a good way to get ahead? Weird, right? But true.
That block is a prop. I used to not like props in yoga. And, actually - sometimes I still don't.
Example - balances.
If I am within arms reach of a wall during standing balances, I will touch it. If not, I can't. Simple as that. Sometimes, sure - I wobble or fall out of the pose completely. But often, I just find a way to stay steady.
So yoga is like life -- props can set you free or hold you back.
So can your focus.
Say you're doing this:
Do you see how her hand is on the ground, flat palm AND her chest is rotated toward the ceiling? Those are both goals for the pose (extended side angle).
But what if you have to choose?
I used to try to get my flat palm on the floor, at any cost.
But then, one time an instructor talked a little more about opening your chest. She suggested we focus more on that. I did. I actually left my elbow on my knee. It felt SO much better. I used to hate this pose; not any more.
Once again - yoga is like life.
Sometimes you can't do two things well at the same time. Sometimes you have to choose.
The yogini on the mat next to me could do all the things. She could do the thing from Wheel where you just stand straight up. Crazy. The thing where you take your toe in Standing Balance and hold your whole leg straight out to the side. And don't wobble at all. In Side Angle her palm was flat-smack on the floor & her sternum straight up to the ceiling.
I have also gathered that she goes all the time. I can't. Well, I could - if I never wanted to see my family.
So, I choose.
Save 1 non-working hour every week (or so), I choose them -
I make good choices.