Thursday, July 16, 2015

Good Enough

Last night as I was driving home after my yoga class, a guest speaker was being interviewed by a DJ on the radio station.  The guest speaker mentioned that we procrastinate because we want to be perfect.  Whatever we do, we always have in our mind a perfect version of what we want to do.  And that makes it difficult for us to start especially when we have doubts in our own abilities.   Instead, if we think that whatever we do is good enough, we will work our way through and the outcome of our efforts might come as a surprise to us.

This led me to connect it to our yoga practice. When we are learning to do a difficult pose, we tend to have in our mind a perfect version of the pose.  Sometimes, we doubt our own ability to execute the pose by thinking that we are not flexible enough, our hips are too tight, etc.  We stop ourselves from trying to do the pose by thinking that we need to do the perfect pose.  But many a times, if we think the pose we are doing is good enough, we will move on and become better as we learn the techniques to overcome our limitations.   Being good enough helps to build our confidence in trying new and difficult poses with an open mind.    And one day, we might become good if not perfect in the pose.

Image taken from here

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Notes from my practice - Preparation Poses for Urdhra Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose)

I attended Foo's class last Thursday and it was a class with preparation poses for backbends with the peak pose being Urdhra Dharnurasana (Wheel Pose) and Eka Pada Urdhra Dhanurasana.  As Urdhra Dhanurasana is my nemesis pose, I was quite apprehensive at first as it has always been a difficult pose for me with my tight shoulders and upper back.

Foo started the class with us doing three Sun Salutations A and three Sun Salutations B to warm up the body.  From then on, we did poses to stretch our hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors, open our chest and the shoulders.   And when it was time to do Urdhra Dhanurasana, I was able to hold the pose for five breaths before coming down and going up the second and third time.   The preparation poses really made a difference to my pose as I dd not feel the usual tightness at my shoulders by remembering to lift the head of my arm bones back when I push up to the pose.  I was able to lift up higher and stayed longer in the pose  by using my legs more which have been strengthen by the preparation poses for the hamstrings and quads.

Some of the preparation poses we did were:

Cat-Cow Pose 
Standing forward bend with arms clasped at the back
High Lunge
Low Lunge 
Kneeling Quad Stretch
Revolved High Lunge
Handstand (to strengthen the arms)
Cobra Pose
Lizard pose 
Reclined Hero pose (keeping the knees together in this pose will help you to learn to keep your inner thighs turned in for the wheel pose)
Locust pose 
Bow pose
Bridge pose

Below is a very good video on the preparation poses for Urdhra Dhanurasana by Kat Heagberg,