Self Awakening Yoga Studio's Blog

Yoga, Breath, Light, Love

*^&%$#@!~DOWNWARD FACING DOG!!!

Wait a minute...that's really a dog!!

Like anything in life…the more we hold on, the harder we try, the more elusive the “prize” is.

I was reminded of this last night when one of my students asked me how she could find comfort, peace, and grace in Downward Facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana (the sanskrit version).  Through her eyes, everybody looks perfect in this pose..they all look like they love it….in fact, she is convinced that everybody loves down dog BUT her.  And she really WANTS TO LOVE IT!!!

My reply was, “don’t be fooled…you are in the majority when it comes to this pose; , “it just takes time”.  To which she said, “I have been working at it for more than a year and I still slip and struggle; how much longer will it take???” And sounding a bit like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movie, I replied, “As long as it takes”.  To which she replied “the harder I try to get it right and love it…the more elusive it is.” 

And of course my reply was, “Wax on, wax off”. Don’t forget to breathe, very important”.  Ahh…that Mr. Miyagi…right??? This time she didn’t reply, she just looked at me as if to say “yikes…she has been in the studio too long”…and while she might be right…perhaps I need to get out more, I couldn’t be more serious. It was my way (and Miyagi’s of course) of saying.  “Don’t try so hard….breathe into the pose and find your own version of comfort, peace and grace; bend your knees, or take your knees down, maybe shorten the distance….you decide.  It is through the letting go of what we think a pose should be that we find what the pose is..not only in downward facing dog, but very likely in other aspects of our life as well.

I know of what I speak. The first time I took downward facing dog the teacher said, “eventually this will be a resting pose that you will learn to love” and I while I was in the struggle of SO NOT LOVING the pose, I thought….sheesh, she needs to get out more.

But after nearly two years, I learned to LOVE downward facing dog and LOVE it I do.  My favorite approach is to find stillness…I don’t bend my knees or shake my head, shorten my stance, or get up on my tippy toes…at least not anymore that is.  I simply relax into my breath and body and find my version of comfort, peace and grace which has helped me tremendously off my mat.

 Whether it is downward facing dog,  a relationship, or which shoes to buy…..don’t try so hard….just let it go, or in the words of Mr. Miyagi, “wax on, wax off”!

Could you tell that I watched the Karate Kid marathon last weekend?  It never gets old and surprisingly enough, neither do I!

As always, I love your comments and replies, so please be sure to leave them below, in the “Leave a Reply” box so I can comment on your comment(s). 

Peace and warmth,

Barbara

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