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I love this poem from Danna Faulds. It’s included in her book, Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga This is my yoga: hot and sweaty and clumsy. Sometimes unsure, wondering why I’m even trying and at other times angry at the poses. Angry at the teacher for choosing the poses and for revealing what I need to work on. It’s in those moments, when I’m straining in a pose and getting angry at both the pose and the teacher for putting me there, that I realize this is what I need to work on, this is the pose I need to be in and perhaps the emotion that I need to deal with. (And sometimes, I just seethe in anger while the lesson is lost… because some days are just like that!)
One of my fellow teachers told me how she was in a training and the teacher put everyone in pigeon pose, a powerful hip opening pose. She kept the students in the pose for 15 minutes and told them how the hips are where emotions are stored, so they should stay with it and experience the emotion. She stayed and just got angry. Angry at the pose. Angry at the teacher. Angry at the other students. Angry that she could hear others sob through their emotional breakthroughs and all she did was get angrier as she wondered if she would ever have a breakthrough. After 10 minutes or so of this growing anger, she realized that anger was the exact emotion that she needed to experience and that is when she finally relaxed into the pose and let the anger wash over her. It’s not like she never got angry again, but it was a lesson in learning how to let it go so it didn’t build up again.
And this too is yoga. This too is life. This too is practice.
Yoga isn’t about touching your toes, it is about what you learn on the way down. I can’t lay claim to that line, I’ve seen it in other places before, but it is so relevant to this post that I had to grab it.
So, what did yoga teach you today?