Man our society is something else. We always seem to want more. Bigger, higher, stronger and better. Keeping up with the joneses has gone from having a nice house and a nice car to being able to get into the same poses as the instagram people. We all follow them. Myself included. They make it look so easy- don’t they? They are so strong, so calculated. But do you have any idea how easy it is to take a video and then go second by second until you finally capture the perfect pose? Then photoshop, edit, filter and change? That being said, of course, not all of them are editing. Some of them work daily to achieve those perfect instagram worthy poses. Some of them also experience pain and injury. Some of them move through that injury just to get the perfect pose.
But why do we have this lust for the difficult poses? They look fun! They take strength and power, concentration and focus. You feel empowered when you get into them. I get it. Oh I get it so well. I FEEL THE SAME WAY! I LOVE achieving a big pose. Getting out of my comfort zone. I have spent many a night falling on my face working on a hard pose.
I have also spent many a night feeling sad about not being enough. Pregnancy and labour, c sections and sleepless nights have all set me back in my own progress. Progress is not linear. Two steps forward and one step back.
Man that is hard to accept isn’t it. Not all of us are full time yoga instagrammers who get sponsored by companies to show off their yoga clothes and props. A lot of these people make money doing this full time and therefore can spend hours and hours progressing their practice. Where as the majority of us have jobs outside of the fitness industry and need to spend more time doing other things than lengthening our muscles.
So what have I taken from all of this? Keep trying but stop comparing. Keep going to the edges of your practice but stop PUSHING those edges. It happens organically when you rest into it. One day you will just see that you can go a little further, and then a little more. You do not need to push but rather rest in that space that is just beyond your comfort level and not ten feet outside of. Warm up, warm up and warm up some more. Practice the basic foundational poses OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Learn about how your body feels into those poses and look for more feelings, more openness and more space in those postures.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY of the progression of postures. Of the progression of your life!
Take into account the factors of your life at the moment and what contributes to your progression speed.
Give yourself PERMISSION to be who you are RIGHT NOW and not feel the need to be someone else.
Most of these people on instagram have literally years of working towards these poses. Maybe they were dancers since childhood or maybe they started practicing yoga many years ago. Look for progression pictures and see the dates. How long it takes to extend your muscles even a few inches. Months. YEARS!
You may be a super-person, but you cannot do it all right now. You are you in this moment. Be grateful for the progression you have made, try moving forward into your progression without force but rather ease. Work with your body to continue- rather than against. Notice what moving with and against feels like. Above all- don’t punish your body but nourish it. You will achieve those poses but not right now.
And that is ok.