This is not a post about not getting on my yoga mat or feeling guilty for not getting on my mat. In fact, I've been really good about doing my practice. You can find me in the middle of a sun salutation around lunch time about five days out the week and I'm not just doing the easy stuff. I always put in at least one or two poses that I don't really like do. Those poses eventually become poses I don't mind doing, so I add in a few other poses I don't like doing. I'm not just laying down in savasana, though that wouldn't really be all that bad of thing every now and then. My yoga practice has been really really good. Except for one thing.
The last three times I've sat down on my yoga mat to do marichyasana (as pictured above), I have not been unable to bind and clasp my hands. I haven't even been able to brush my finger tips together. The first time, I kind of just brushed it off because I hadn't done a lot of the preparation poses that makes marichyasana easy. I say 'kind of' because I never really needed to do the prep to easily bind, but what ever. The second time I was on my mat, I did some of those prep poses like twists and hip openers and I still couldn't grasp my fingers. This time, my ego became inflamed with rage. This is a pose I normally like to do! This is a pose that looks impressive in a carnival freak-show kind of way and I've always been able to do it well. I've always been able to do this pose with out effort. What was wrong with me?!?!
Yesterday I got on my mat with marichyasana on my mind. I thought maybe this time I needed to do something more than twists and hip openers. Maybe it was my shoulders causing the problem. This time I threw in a bunch of shoulder opening poses. I thought for sure that this time I'd bind myself up into marichyasana like I'd always been able to do. Nope. My finger tips were a little bit closer, but no where near close enough to clasp. This time my ego wasn't just mad. This time my ego got in there and started yelling inside my brain like a middle school gym coach yelling at the scrawny pre-teen to climb that rope. My favorite, easy pose has now become a pose that I don't like to do. What. Is. Happening?
I can't quite figure out what's different. I thought maybe it was a weight issue, but this body I have now is the same as that body up there in the picture. The other day, I got a notification that someone had recently 'faved' a photo I'd taken for my thirtieth birthday. It was an artfully nude photo and as I looked at it, I had to admit that I didn't really see any differences between that body and this body. All of this makes not being able to do this pose even more frustrating. It's a showy, trick of a pose. Like balancing on the palms of your hands in crow pose. I can easily do crow pose now. It used to be one of the poses I didn't really like to practice. It looks like I might have traded one marichyasana for one crow pose. Hello Ego! I see you've come to take me down a peg.
That's the thing about yoga. One day you think you've made it to guru cave level yogini. The next day you're reminded that you still have lots and lots to learn. Today, I'm going to get on my mat. I'm going to do those hip openers and twists. I'm going to do those shoulder openers. I'm going to throw in some chest openers and maybe even do a little self massage of the muscles in between the ribs. I'm going to sit down and make another attempt at marichyasana and if my fingers still don't reach to bind, I am not giving up. I will make marichyasana my pose of the month if I have to.
That's how you get to guru cave level yogini.