Posted by: kerryalina | 16 March 2012

Challenge Class 29: Practicing

I went into class today still unable to turn my head more than an inch in any direction.  But I knew the yoga would help, so rather than giving up in disgust or sitting out the class in frustration, I thought maybe I could use today to focus on things other than my physical practice.

  • Practicing mindfulness as I stopped just short of the threshold of pain.
  • Practicing letting go of expectations as I found the postures that I expected to hurt didn’t, and the ones that I thought would be fine assaulted my shoulder with waves of torment.
  • Practicing acceptance as I breathed and let go of any frustration when I couldn’t achieve even the most basic expression of a pose.
  • Practicing not being ashamed or apologetic when the teacher loudly encouraged me to drop my head back further and I had to answer: “I can’t.”
  • Practicing dedication as I refused to sit out even a single asana.
  • Practicing setting aside my self-consciousness as I modified my movements – when everyone else was lying in Savasana with one ear on the towel and I felt their eyes boring into me as I lay facedown, unable to turn my head to the side.
  • Practicing letting go of jealousy as I saw, all around me, people in beautiful poses that I couldn’t begin to emulate.
  • Practicing bringing the focus back to myself so I didn’t see them.

Did I achieve all of this?  HELL no.  But I attempted all of them and made progress on a surprisingly large number.  Six months ago, I would have refused to go to class while injured.  Three months ago I would have pushed myself to do everything, regardless of the damage I was causing to my body.  Today, I didn’t sit out any postures, I tried everything even when I expected it to hurt (and was pleasantly surprised, most of the time), but I also successfully avoided aggravating my injury through either lack of awareness or overabundance of ego.  In fact, as expected, it’s now feeling a million times better.

And, in my proudest achievement of all: by the end of class, I’d successfully developed the mindset that if all I could do was sit up straight on my heels for Rabbit, then I was damn well going to be the very best heel sitterer EVER.



  1. Go girl! Sending some white light to your shoulder today!

    • Thanks hon! I’ll let you know when it kicks in :)

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