There is a quote that has come up a few times in my teacher training.. “Receive a posture rather than put yourself into it”. This sounds simple doesn’t it? But it is amazing how hard it is to actually do this.
This has been a typical scenario for me:
Thin gorgeous yoga goddess teacher does a pose… a glorious beautiful pose in which she looks relaxed, happy, and utterly amazing. Julia attempts pose. She is a lump. She feels clumsy. In an attempt to be less lump-like she decides to go for it.. She reaches… She falls over. She tenses up. “I can do this” she says to herself, “c’mon body”… She gets sort of into the posture, arms and legs stretched way out, but her hip sways up and out otherwise she can’t keep her balance. She feels like she accomplishing something. She locks her knee and straightens holding the pose. Ta da! After about five years of this her knee says “enough”. Her doctor says “enough”. Her body says “enough”.
Sometimes we have to work from our lumpy selves outward. Our bodies really do like it better that way even of our egos get all in a tizzy about it.
There is another saying “How we practice on our mat is how we are in our lives”. There really is something incredibly valuable about being where you are, working honestly from that place, and being content with yourself just as you are, right here, right now.. lumpy and all.