Another yoga practice. Another instructor easing us into wide angle pose. Another chance to be humbled. And humbled again.
I’ve been practicing yoga for years and years. I love the strength poses. I shine in those. I can hold myself up in handstand, crow pose, and side plank. I lift weights – I have for decades – and I have the upper body strength to show for it.
But flexibility? Not so much.
Don’t get me wrong. My ability to touch my toes or bind in a pose is way beyond what it used to be or what I could do if I didn’t practice yoga. But I’m built tight. Strong maybe, but tight.
And wide angle pose always humbles me.
I stretch my legs open wide – okay wide for me. I lean forward, hinging at my hips…and I laugh as the instructor suggests putting a block beneath our stomachs to lean into. Even with the block standing to its highest, my stomach is no where near the block to rest on it.
A good dash of humility is always good for me. As well as a good dash of acceptance. As I leaned somewhat towards the floor in front of me, I was struck, once again, with how much life is all about acceptance. At least if I want ease. And calm. And joy. And fun.
Acceptance that I’ll probably never get my stomach to the floor in wide angle pose. Or even to a block. Acceptance that my flexibility is what it is and is what it will be.
Acceptance of my situation, the people around me, the challenges and joys in my daily life. After all these years I’ve learned, and I keep remembering, that fighting against something only makes it worse. Refusing to accept life as it is, and people as they are, sets me up to feel frustrated and let down. It focuses my attention on what’s not going right, not as I want it, not as it “should” be.
And accepting – the frustrating client, the challenging family member, the time it takes for my book to be a book, my inability to stretch to the ground in wide angle pose – gives me space to be at peace. And look at what is going “right.”
Like how long I can hold a handstand. With humility.
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