Hello lovelies! Today’s #MondayMotivation is all about striving for progress, not perfection, in your yoga practice. In this very Instagram era, I struggle with posting photos on my feed that don’t “measure up” to a particular standard. I especially scrutinize my yoga images – picking apart each little flaw in form, criticizing myself for not pointing my toes or tightening my core, etc. It’s so easy to get caught up in the aspired end result, that there are times when I feel I miss out on the whole point of my practice all together… and in case you’re feeling the same way, here’s a friendly reminder:
Yoga is a journey.
It’s a constant work in progress and it takes multiple failures to produce a singular success.
Today I put my ego aside and said screw it, I’m totally going to step out of my comfort zone and practice yoga poses that I don’t normally try. And I’ll admit – I fell down. A lot. Like there will be a welt the size of King Kong on my bottom and a nice black-n-blue bruise on my forearm tomorrow.
But guess what? I’ve never felt happier. I’ve realized that I’ve become so stagnant in my practice… doing the same old poses over and over again. As much as consistency is a good thing, it can also be a huge hindrance when it comes to bettering yourself. My boyfriend has even said once before while taking my photos “After watching you do crow pose a billion times, it gets a little boring.” Um, #truthhurts. 🙉 🙈
I’m making it a goal of mine to branch out and try at least one new flow or asana during each yoga sesh moving forward. During today’s practice, I tried the following:
One-Legged Crow Pose
This has always been one of those poses that I would look at and then promptly shake my head and laugh it off, thinking there was NO way I was strong enough to do it. After a good warm up, I attempted this pose for the first time ever… and promptly fell flat on my face. The good thing is, I tried it five more times. And by the 3rd time, I was actually able to lift my bended left leg off my knee and hold it long enough for several photos! SUCCESS! Next step? Eventually become stable enough in this asana to straighten the lifted leg and hold for several breaths.
So I love me some pincha (forearmstand), particularly the scorpion variation, and have recently become so comfortable in it that it’s one of my go-to asanas during any yoga photoshoot. Today I decided to take it to the next level and attempt a hollowback variation (in which you lower your head so your ears are in line with your forearms while also bringing your bottom past your head). Well, I got as far as the first part, which is more than I thought I could do, but unfortunately wasn’t able to hold for more than a few seconds before tumbling down. Even still, I’m excited to have made a little progress in my pincha mayursana and look forward to seeing where continued practice takes me.
Wide Arm Headstand
Headstands have always made me slightly nervous but in the past year I’ve gained much more confidence in traditional and tripod headstands (you can read my tips for tripod headstand here). I had attempted a wide arm variation once before a couple years ago when I had a nice blanket of sand at the beach to cushion my fall. I decided to attempt it again today, but couldn’t get find any kind of stability. I did manage to hold it for a few breaths when I kept my arms bent instead of straight, so for today that’ll have to do. 😊
We can all find ourselves stuck in a rut and remain safely behind the sturdy doors of our comfort zone. However, it’s so important to learn to face your fears and try something new every once in a while or you’ll never discover your true potential! Before you write something off, whether it be a new yoga pose or a new experience, ask yourself why you’re afraid to try it. Find courage and don’t let doubts cloud your judgement. After all, YOU are capable of extraordinary things.