26 July 2014

It's Never Easy


intransitive verb\ˈstrə-gəl\
: to try very hard to do, achieve, or deal with something that is difficult or that causes problems
: to move with difficulty or with great effort
                                   : to try to move yourself, an object, etc., by making a lot of effort

via merriam-webster.com

Think about the word struggle for a moment.

Now, consider how that word applies to your practice.

For me, it is applicable in several ways. 

  : to try to move yourself, an object, etc., by making a lot of effort

The very act of performing postures is a struggle, at least most of the time. I'm a big, ungainly guy who has trouble with his balance but more than makes for it at times with a perplexing lack of strength. When I finally get my balance right, I'm too weak or breathless to hold the damn posture. More often though, the opposite holds true: I can enter the posture but cannot keep my balance for more than a few seconds. this seems to have worsened in the past month. There was one class two weeks ago where I received correction from the instructor in Pranayama, Half-Moon, Hands-to-Feet, Awkward, and Eagle. That never happened before; all because I had so much trouble keeping my balance. Then there are my knees, one of which I injured in April and the other which is now exhibiting a lot of the aches I felt before injuring the first one (did that make sense?). Of course, I have attended only eight classes this month, which leads me to....

...deal with something that is difficult or that causes problems

Just getting to class can be a struggle. It's July. It's hot. I just want to sit by the pool/fire up the grill/take a nap/go to the zoo/etc, etc. Your friends or loved ones want to do those things as well, and you don't want to miss the fun. So you tell yourself you will take an extra class tomorrow/next week/next month. Sometimes you do and sometimes you forget and sometimes you just say "Forget about it". Then there are times when your friends balk at your going to class again and become upset or downright angry. It can be amazing how many of your old friends disappear when you try to change your life... and how many new ones you can make.

: to try very hard to do... something that is difficult... to move with difficulty or with great effort

Once in the room, there are struggles great and small. From trying to get your hamstrings to stretch to reaching down to your heels to the sweat pouring into your ears or nose. Perhaps it's as simple as running late and not getting your preferred spot in the room (let's be honest: ANYWHERE in the room is good). Maybe your body aches and it is really difficult just to get your arms up over the head sideways. Maybe your heart hurts. Maybe you just can't quite get your breath under control and your chasing it in every posture. Maybe you've decided to do a 40-minute Savasana and you see no reason to change your mind.
And yet.. when you make that conscious effort to get to class, to find a spot no matter how unpalatable, when you just try to clear your mind, lift those tired arms up and breathe in deeply...


 Don't deny yourself. Don't let anyone or anything deny you.

You are special. You deserve to be healthy and happy.

It is not, and never will be easy. And that is just fine.

See you on the mat!!



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