The lights are dim; my hands are splayed wide in front of me on the floor. My toes are placed five feet or so behind my hands and my legs are taut as I push my ass high in the air. I arch my back, as if waiting to be mounted from behind. I “wrap” my shoulders and draw my weight towards my heels. This is downward dog – and it hurts.
Downward dog, one of the first poses a new yogi learns, is a good indicator of one’s asana practice. In the beginning, it hurts, you’re sore; you just want to get out of the pose. Experienced yogis, on the flip side, find rest and relaxation there – it’s a break between the more vigorous asanas.
I used to find rest in down dog, but I’ve lost my way in my practice. Yoga isn’t about “becoming fit” – I know that, but I’m a western yogi and fitness was a part of the reason I practiced. I was strong, powerful, flexible and energized. I had “yoga shoulders”, a strong back and firm groins.
I loved the strength yoga gave me physically (not to mention mentally and spiritually) – how could I ever let that slide? It took me years to build my yoga body – and now, I find myself starting all over.
I’m sore today. Last night’s level 1-2 was difficult for me. The same class a year ago would be any “easy” practice. How could I let this happen? I’m flabby and weak once again. I want my yoga body back – and there’s only one way to do it…a strong, committed, consistent practice. I hate myself for having to start all over again.
You had me at “mounted from behind”. hee hee!
I will be going through a similar transition/physical learning curve soon as I will once again join the gym. I think it will be my Christmas present to myself.
Yoga is something that I always wanted to have in my life. How do you feel about DVD instruction .. or do you think I should join a studio?
I’m thinking studio myself but time is a huge factor..
I think it’s a good idea to begin in a studio – it allows you to feel the right alignment. In class, a teacher can make a minor adjustment to your pose and it changes everything. I’m not a good self-motivator – I have DVDs, but I find that at home I only do some of the poses…the ones I like and then fast-forward through the others. Practicing at a studio also allows you to focus 100% on the yoga and forget about all the other craziness.