Make Friends with a Yoga Pose
by David Berson
Are there some poses you enjoy doing much more than others? Maybe you groan internally when a teacher names the next pose and it’s one that you’re not a on first name basis with. Or maybe when you practice at home you only do the poses that come easily and skip the hard ones.
As a part of assessing for each level of teaching in the Iyengar system teachers must be able to demonstrate and teach all poses listed on their current syllabus. The sequence of syllabi are designed to equip the teachers to create well rounded sequences for each class. You can be sure that there are some poses on each syllabus that as a student I’d be more inclined to skip over.
In preparing for my assessment I worked through my syllabus to get a better understanding of all the poses. In the process I learned something else. In the poses that come easiest to me I have to work harder to learn what’s important about the pose. But in the poses that are challenging for me it’s much easier to learn. I don’t have to search as much for what to improve. I can start right out with where it’s uncomfortable!
Twists have long been a challenge for me. My back felt contorted and often my breathing would feel as if l was doing cardio, all while sitting still. Through guidance from my teachers I learned how unevenness on each side of my torso makes the twist harder. Through practice I learned some actions to help lengthen and even out both sides. It seems all of the sudden twists have become easier and bring joy. I now look forward to the twists portion of my practice.
See you on the mat,