Fearless 14: Bow

Tomorrow’s pose is Bow pose or Dhanurasana.  This pose is one I used to hate.  Actually, I don’t like it too much now, but that’s why I’ve included it in this challenge.  If you take a yoga teacher training, be prepared to find yourself asking, “What ELSE makes me uncomfortable?”  You will become a seeker of resistance in order to investigate.  I think my problem with Bow is that I don’t like how it feels.  If my back isn’t hurting, I can hardly breathe in it.  Don’t do this pose if you’ve eaten in the past 4 hours because all that rocking back and forth on your stomach is going to make you want to hurl.  It feels so OPEN so OUT THERE, and I would rather do anything else…so that’s why I’m doing it today.

So, if you are in the back-hurtin’, acid refluxin’, can’t get to breathin’ crowd, let me introduce Half Bow:

Half Bow

Bow

Lying on your stomach, grab your left ankle with your left hand.  Your right arm will be pressed into the ground for support.  On your inhale, push your foot back in order to  stretch your arm back and open the chest.  Repeat on the other side.

For full Bow, grab both ankles.  Push your feet back and up to raise your chest up.  Keep your knees in line with your hips and do not let them splay out.  If you are breathing deeply, you will rock back and forth on your abdomen.  Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds, and slowly release your ankles down to the mat.  Now was that so hard? (I’m totally talking to myself now.)

Today was my first day teaching at my new studio, and it went swimmingly I think.  I was nervous last night, and I even wrote out this insane-o sequence that now I know was WAY too hard.  I wanted to be impressive and bust out some challenging poses.  About 10 minutes into my class, I dropped the script because I wasn’t feeling it.  Without a plan, I felt open and able to connect to my students. I wasn’t teaching blindly.  I was more receptive to their needs.

I have talked about this before here.  I frequently plan for classes (or any other aspect of my life, for that matter) in order to feel some sort of control, and then quickly realize the plan isn’t working.  The plan was written by the Lauren of another time who didn’t know what she knows now.  I couldn’t possibly plan entirely for the class because I’m not going to know what it looks like until I get there.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planned beautiful sequences and agonized over executing them properly only to have no one show up to class.  I’m not saying NEVER plan anything ever.  Just don’t get too attached to your plans, because things pretty much never go the way we foresee them (good or bad).

Whether you are teaching a yoga class or doing Bow pose tomorrow, notice how often you plan (plan for bad things to happen or good things).  Does the plan help you in the moment?  How often do you actually follow the plan when the moment arrives?  Does planning have any affect on the outcome of the event?

Stay open yogis.

 

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