We were in Malasana pose, the squat pose, and the instructor “suggested” we take our left arms and wrap them around our left legs towards our backs, and then wrap our right arms around our backs until we could bind, or clasp, our hands. Before I could stop myself, I laughed out loud.

The instructor laughed with me.

As many of you know, I’ve been practicing yoga for years. Decades really. I guess there’s a reason they call it practicing, because there are some poses I still can’t (read that as probably never will) do. And a bound Malasana is one of them.

I’ve come to believe that my muscles are too tight, which maybe I could work on and “fix.” And that my arms are too short, which I can’t. Either way you look at it, there are poses I can’t do (or as I’ve learned to say in my Positive Psychology certification course, I can’t do yet). And again, a bound Malasana is one of them.

I’ve also come to believe that, as always, acceptance is the answer to all my problems, and I’ve come to accept – fully accept – that the pose is fully beyond my capabilities (again, at least for now).

So what, you ask? So what does this have to do with life? No surprise, again it’s about acceptance. Just today I once again explained to someone that I’ve come to believe – to learn – that whenever I push or try or resist, whatever I’m resisting gets stronger. But when I accept, I somehow find ease. Maybe if I accept that I can’t bind in Malasana, I will one day be able to bind in Malasana.

The second lesson for me? The joy, and freedom, of laughter. The sheer impossibility of the bind made me laugh. Out loud. And my laughter spawned laughter from the instructor and throughout the 6am class. If I can’t laugh at myself, life will be way, way too long. And too hard. Laughter yields ease. Laughter strengthens connection and community. Laughter brings joy.

I laughed out loud in my yoga class, and next time the instructor “suggests” some such bind, chances are that if I’m not minding my reaction, I’ll laugh again.


I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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