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Balancing April

This is the challenge Yogamum handed us for April:

Pick a pose that is either difficult for you or that may bring feelings of aversion, helplessness or despair when you imagine including it in your practice.
As you reflect on the difficulty of this pose, ask yourself, what is the source of this difficulty? What actions are required to do this pose?

But I realise that for me it’s not a particular pose but all the balance poses that make me feel like running off shrieking in aversion/helplessness/despair.

And strangely enough, it’s only standing balance poses–on really ‘bad’ days I can try to stand in tadasana (how more basic can you get than that) & keep falling over, feeling vulnerable at the knee joints–yet I can stay ‘safely’ focused in sirsana.

So perhaps it’s not so much my balance as my fear–

A few hundred years ago when I was in school there was a girl (well, there were several who thought it a huge joke, but she was the one who usually did it) who thought the funniest thing to do was come up behind me & kick one of my knee caps sideways. Because I have very loose joints that usually meant extreme pain & disruption of class & hilarity for them. If scolded she/they would say they just bumped into me or her father (a doctor) said I should exercise more & it was because I didn’t have enough muscle that I dislocated so easily. My parents just said I shouldn’t be so careless & would grow out of it.

Okay, so now you know why I like to/have to put my mat in the corner when I go to class… that way nobody can sneak up on me!

But I think that could be part of the problem with my balance poses. When I’m tired/insecure the irrational side of me is afraid someone will come along & attack my knees.

Well–my April goal is to find balance on & off the mat.

1) utthita hasta padangusthasana–consistently & without fear

2) pincha mayurasana–get myself up onto the wall smoothly, gracefully & consistently

3) writing-reading, yoga-puja, groundedness-reaching out

Most of all, I must stop taking myself too seriously. Stop getting worked up by stuff I can’t do anything about. Stop feeling guilt for all my blessings. And shit–stop imaging in negatives…

God respects me when I work, but He loves me when I sing. – Rabindranath Tagore

7 Responses

  1. Hello Mahita! Sorry didn’t see your comment earlier–thank you! (Hope to see more of your writing projects too–all the best!)
    Darkorph–slow down!!!!!!! (& no, I’m not compassionate… just wasn’t very good at fighting &–back then–too wimpily eager to be liked!)

  2. Your childhood story was so powerful. It amazes me what can stay with us. Best of luck with April and your goals. I wanted to check in with you. I am so busy with writing projects that I am not finding a lot of time to blog. I need to work on balancing myself. A lot going on in my world. I love your blog. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Hellos, just came home from surgery and I think I move too fast for my stitches. *sigh* Need to learn the art of moving mindfully like Thich Nhat Hahn right now.

    The doc is running test on the growth. Just to confirm it’s nothing “sinister”. I like that he uses the word “sinister” to describe my cyst.

    I’m intrigued by what Gartenfische said about paschimottanasana fear. It’s interesting how different poses can challenge people in different ways. Have heard of people crying from Happy Baby because it’s so vunerable. One of my friend wouldn’t even try chakrasana (Backward Somersault) because she found it “scary”

    Not sure about that bully just being “thoughtless”, because she was obviously causing you pain. No one can be THAT oblivious to the pain of others unless they are deficit on empathy.

    I’m being judgemental, right? My solution to the kicking would have been to fight back and inflict MORE pain on her. So I’m not a good representative of compassion either. :\

  4. & good luck with paschimottanasana, dear gartenfische! may we this April all get past our little road bumps–balance, paschimottanasana terrors & major surgery… (oh dear, suddenly my bump looks so much smaller–)

  5. Dear Ovidia, It’s amazing how these childhood pains and struggles stay with us in so many ways. The balance poses don’t scare me, I’m just not very good at them. It’s paschimottanasana that brings up fear in me. Unlike you, I can’t see what the root of that is, except that Maehle says people carry some of the negative emotions in the hamstrings.

    Good luck with your balancing poses!

  6. Hi Darkorpheus, thanks for stopping by– (know the op’s coming up soon right? Let us know if there’s anything at all–) Yes–was from an all-girls school but looking back I don’t think it was mean-spirited so much as being thoughtless (primary school–) & anyway she grew up to become very christian homophobic so no doubt she thinks she did the right thing then!

    And yes–adding on to not being ‘worthy’ of blessings I think around here there’s also a strong sense that saying you’re blessed is ‘pantang’… that’s why even parents who are obviously so proud of their kids will fondly say ‘so naughty’ ‘so noisy’ ‘so smart mouthed’

  7. How old were you when that girl kicked you? It’s bullying. Did you fight back? I know it’s history but — did you fight back? God, were you from an all-girl’s school. That was so mean spirited.

    But on a more serious note: about not feeling guilty for our blessings — oh yes — we should all do that. Maybe it’s a sense of not being “worthy” that has been taught us from young. We are supposed to be humble and not think we are entitled to the good things that arrive.

    Good luck for your assignment! May you find balance in your practice, and in your life.

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