In the November spirit of giving thanks and being grateful, I was reminded of one moment in particular during my Yoga Teacher Training (YYT) in 2017
In this moment, I was forced to find humility which eventually lead to a deep gratitude for myself, my body and my practice.
It was THE DREADED DANDASANA! Just thinking about it makes my eyes grow wide in terror. Staff Pose. Or basically just sitting on the floor. Please don’t make me do it!
Let’s take a step back though…
Ever since I can remember, I’ve had tight hips and hammies. I used to get my name listed somewhere with all the boys when it came to the reach-for-your-toes test in PE way back in elementary school. Remember doing that?? Anyway, sitting on the ground, really in any position, was not my thing. Until I found yoga and humility of course.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less” – C.S. Lewis
…Stepping back to YTT…
So here we were, three weeks into Intensive Yoga Teacher Training. Where I had been doing 3+ hours of physical poses & active movement every morning of class. Today we were going to review Staff Pose, and it scared me.
Well that day, I not only got to face reality but me and my body got to show everyone in class how to modify the shizzz out of Dandasana. The pressure was on. I had to allow myself to 1) be watched by peers up close and personal (does that scare anyone else sometimes?), 2) talk about my body in a group (does that scare anyone else sometimes?), and 3) allow myself to accept the truth (do I need to say it a third time?) – I can’t comfortably sit on the ground without major assistance …
So breathing deeply, I accepted the challenge and let our teacher help adjust my body from head to toe. This pose that seems so simple (that my body wouldn’t do on its own) was finally made available to me, with a lot of adjustments and even more inner kindness and acceptance.
humility : freedom from pride or arrogance (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Here I am in all my glory:
We actually didn’t have all the props I needed, like some blocks or a blanket under my hands would’ve been great, so don’t take this as your standard. But I learned a lot. You can see I was laughing, trying to let go of being so “perfect” and accepting this is where I am and ‘I guess you can take a picture of it’… You can also see, I was pushing myself hard, definitely still in the process of listening to my body, and I injured my knee that same week. But more on that another time…
And yes, I found, accepted and now preach that even if you have to bend your knees more than others, you are still doing the pose. Whatever pose it may be.
I found gratitude for my body exactly as it is, and even more appreciation and respect for good teachers and great props. It’s a lifelong process, the art of accepting ourselves as we truly are. And a journey I am forever grateful to have started.
So, thanks for taking a moment to listen, it means a lot. I hope to see you and your loved ones at Our Yoga soon. Where you KNOW we’ve got the BOMB Hugger Mugger Bolsters that offer the utmost support, as well as blocks, blankets and straps to meet you where you are in your body, your practice, your self.
Can’t wait to see you there,