I’ve been practicing yoga for a while yet have always had difficulty with poses that required me to engage my core. Core work would royally piss me off every time. I would get frustrated and angry...at myself, at the instructor, and at yoga in general until we transitioned into a pose that didn’t require core focus any longer. Even throughout my teacher training this was an issue.
People who practice yoga know that we can sometimes store unwanted or unprocessed emotions in different parts of the body (a sort of “sweeping under the rug”). Yoga does an amazing job at uncovering these sometimes during our practice. I have seen people flowing beautifully between poses one moment and sobbing on the floor in child’s pose the next while having an emotional breakthrough of some kind.
Having emotional releases like these are a great gift to yogis as the ultimate goal of yoga is not to get amazing abs, but only to eliminate the modifications of the mind-or in other words, to get out of our own heads.
We are born pure and perfect. Our environment and society as we grow older can “dirty” or color our minds and we are then no longer pure beings.
We learn to compare ourselves to others, we tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough, or fall in to other ruts of negative patterns or small box thinking. Finding a way to jump off that hamster wheel can be a journey in itself. But becoming aware that the hamster wheel even exists is the key to the entire cage.
I recently have relocated back to my home in Florida after a very turbulent experience in the southwest desert and since then my stress has become almost nonexistent and I have been really falling in love with who I am lately.
All of me…my dorky laugh, my skinny legs, my geeky obsession with space, my quirky yet sarcastic personality, and even my thinning hair. Actually, a lot of things I used to once try and hide in order to fit in perfectly to my surroundings or social groups have taken on a more comfortable fit within me. Being surrounded by family and friends who I can truly be open and myself with has been incredibly freeing and grounding.
I say all this because something interesting happened a couple days ago…
Out of nowhere, in the middle of the driveway, I planted my hands to the ground and pushed myself up into a handstand. Not kicked up, pushed. Something I have never been confident enough to do for fear of collapsing due to my weak core.
And then I did it again. And then again. And then again.
A couple days later, I confidently went into and held headstand during my morning practice, a pose that I had always feared falling backward in. And then I did it again. And then again. And then again.
I have let something go that I had been holding on to for so long that had been in reality just holding me back. Holding me back not just from doing fancy yoga poses, but from trusting myself…from trusting the process…from being more of my true, pure self. Perhaps I have been so afraid to use my core not only in yoga poses but in all areas of my life because I feared failing, or falling, or not being good enough.
The third chakra resides in the solar plexus and governs our self-esteem and I believe the anger I felt while working my core was a manifestation of an internal conflict between my ego and my true self. A grasping ego that was screaming louder and louder trying to drown out the reemergence of my own true nature.
I’m so grateful for the journey I was fortunate enough to discover yoga and practice with some incredible instructors and students that continue to touch me even if only through social media updates and inspiring blog posts. They keep me inspired to keep moving forward in a positive direction and to keep growing toward the light.
Surround yourself with positive people. People who lift you up. Who encourage you to jump off the hamster wheel. Challenge your mind, your body, your soul. When you feel like quitting, that’s the signal that success is around the corner.
“Practice, practice and all is coming.” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois