I had a great session at yoga last night. It was a warm night and we exerted quite a bit of energy in our Vinyasa class at My Health Yoga, Brisbane.
One of the most prominent things about last night’s class for me was when our teacher asked us to consider an advanced option for holding our knee close and lowering into a squat. I’m usually up for a challenge, but this advanced option was to hold the foot and straighten the leg, then raise back to standing. This was to be repeated twice.
My instant thought was that I was nowhere near flexible enough to do it. My hips are tight, my hamstrings are tighter than usual, so I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to do it. I’d stick with holding my knee.
On quick reflection, though, something in me made me reconsider. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? If I can’t do it, I revert to the easier option. No harm done to anything.
It’s all about learning what our limitations are, and where we are in our practice. What if I didn’t take up the challenge? I’d be at the same place I was before, not knowing whether I could really do it, believing that I couldn’t. Stagnation might develop.
I also believe that it flows into our daily lives. How many times do we say to ourselves (or out loud) that we can’t do this, or that, because of whatever reason we feel holds us back.
Assess the risks and the probability. Sometimes challenges are too tall for our current situation, but knowing ourselves well enough is important to know whether there is definite failure or whether it will merely stretch us and teach us something.
And we shouldn’t fear failure because it’s from this, as well as our successes, that we learn.
So could I do the advanced squat? I surprised myself with the attempt and found that I could lower myself to a squat whilst holding my foot. My leg wasn’t entirely straight and I wobbled, but I managed it without pain and without falling over.
You just never know until you try!