In a recent Iyengar Yoga class, we discussed an interesting approach to the progression of poses. Some yogis focus their attention on “doing the pose a certain way”, or “I’d be happy when I can do this pose ‘like that'”. These, and similar statements, reveal an approach that may be less than ideal. This approach is based on the fact that the yogi is not where they should be or want to be, and does not allow the yogi to truly experience and fully benefit from their practice. We are all in just the right place in our practice, and we should not let our expectations disrupt our true progress. Some of you may say, but there must be a progression in a practice, or at least a direction. Here is an interesting idea to keep in mind when judging ones progress.
We regularly use props in our Iyengar class, to help us achieve a certain sensation, or relieve stress points. For example, many yogis choose to sit on a block when in Virasana (hero pose). Well, assume you didn’t have a block, and instead used the New York phone book (as I’m sure you can surmise, it’s pretty thick!). And what if every time you practiced, you removed one page from the book, therefore slowly and consistently getting your buttocks closer to floor. Let’s put this approach in perspective: although you would be moving in a direction and going deeper and deeper into the pose, you would be doing so mindfully.
Let me know what you think