22 August 2011

The Trouble With Triangle

I hear the words from the instructor and I cringe:

"Now time for the climax of the Standing Series, Triangle Pose, marriage of the heart and lungs..."

Triangle Pose.

I hate it. I suck at it. Nine classes out of ten, I am unable to complete one side, let alone two complete sets.

It goes something like this: 

First, go back one posture, to Standing Separate Leg Stretching. At one time, I could at least get my hands beneath the sides of my feet (never able to grab the heels in this or Hands-to-Feet). Now, it is virtually impossible. Only when I keep my legs two feet apart or less can I actually reach the sides of my feet. More often, though, my hands are grabbing the area above my ankles, or are simply on the floor between my legs. When I try to lock out my legs, my hips feel like they will break. Second set is not much better. So, with that in mind, we move to Triangle.

"Arms over your head sideways. Right leg takes a big step, arms parallel to the floor." Now, the problems begin.

"Right foot turns to the right, left knee locked, bend your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor..." The pain starts here... feels like my hamstring is going to tear, and my right hip screams at me. 

"Why am I even trying this? I know what's about to happen........" Seriously, I kind of know the dialogue for the rest of the pose, but usually I have hit the deck, either because my leg and hip hurt too much, or I start leaning backward to the point that I lose my balance and topple over. Most of the time though, I don't even make the attempt, knowing that it is impossible for me. I sit on my mat, head down, burning a hole in the floor with my gaze. When I do look around, and see so many people doing the pose (and doing it well), I'm back to my childhood, watching kids who could jump rope or catch a baseball (I was really uncoordinated) while I tripped on the rope or missed every ball. Hell, I'm writing this now and that familiar, empty feeling has appeared in my gut, and that hot, prickly flush is moving up my neck and across my face. Thirty years later and it still has a hold on me!!!! 

Anyhow, back to Triangle. If I do try the second set, it varies. Sometimes I simply stop short of moving my arms and try to hold the first part of the pose. About half the time, I am successful. Every so often, I can complete one side but not the other. Very rarely can I do one full set, let alone both. 

Triangle holds me back, no doubt. Not only is it a very important posture in the series, it speaks a lot about what is bound up inside me. I could very easily delete all this with one stroke, but I guess I had to let it out somewhere. I've said it here before in different form, but how do I break through, get past it, and let it go? 

I feel like I should apologize. 

Hoping your next class is your best!!


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