Does anyone else have a yoga pose that they always dream of doing? Do you ever look around the studio during a class and feel like everyone else can do it, but for some reason you can’t? For me, that pose is lotus, or even half lotus.
When I started yoga a little over a year ago, sitting with my legs crossed was difficult. I made it a goal to open my hips and I even set deadlines for when I wanted half lotus to happen for me. I felt like being able to sit in lotus was a “yogi rite of passage.” It turns out I was completely wrong. After a couple months of trying to force myself into a pose that wasn’t going to happen, I started to come to peace with my journey to lotus, and my journey through yoga in general.
Yoga isn’t about the poses that our body can do. It doesn’t matter if your neighbor has their legs behind their head and you can’t touch your toes. Nobody wins at yoga. It’s about the journey and what you learn along the way. I’ve learned that forcing yourself to do something ends in frustration. I’ve learned that my body is capable of so much and that I should focus on what it can do instead of what it can’t. I began to let go of my strict deadline and just let my practice take its natural course.
Recently, I was doing some hip opening stretches and decided to try half lotus. To my surprise, I did it. I immediately took a picture and texted all my closest friends who knew that this was a goal of mine. When I least expected it, I could reach a point that I never thought was possible. One of my teachers responded to my picture with the most accurate statement, “you get what you give.”
Whatever pose you are striving for, or sequence you hope to master, give it everything you have. Don’t force yourself, but rather, practice patience and acceptance and always recognize your progress. When the stress, deadlines and expectations disappear, it will surprise you how things fall into place.