Sometimes You Just Have to Push Through…

…that’s what my yoga teacher said to me this morning. I started practicing 2nd series for about a month now. It’s also been very hot here in L.A. and by the time I get to the studio at 7:30am, it is a steam room. 

I am practicing up to Laghu Vajrasana…there are some pretty intense backbends starting with 2nd series in Ashtanga. Before this posture is Ustrasana (camel pose) and as soon as I got up to it, I felt like I had hit a wall. 

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I said to my teacher, “I’m really tired. Should I go on and do ustrasana and laghu vajrasana? If I do them, I feel like I won’t have enough strength to do my backbends (urdvha danurasana).” And he said, “Yeah, you gotta do them. You’ll have enough strength to do your backbending and they’ll make your backbends much easier”

So I mustered up my strength and with faith in  what my teacher said to me, I continued my practice. My legs felt weak and wobbly in ustrasana and by the time I got to laghu vajrasana, I didn’t know if I’d be able to get back up from it, But with the help of my teacher and the strength of my quads, I got back up with ease and was so thankful my teacher talked me into it. And that’s when he said, “Sometimes you just have to push through.”

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So my question to you is, when do you know you have to push through or when you have to take it easier on yourself? I consider myself a person who has always been pushed, always told I could do more, and that more is better. But in the last few years, I’ve been scaling back, beginning to understand my intentions behind the things I do and doing things not because I think I should or because I’ll be liked if I do them, but because I genuinely want to do them. 

And how do you distinguish when you need to push through and when you need to honor how you feel? I suppose the answer lies in how well you know yourself. And sometimes a little guidance and a little loving nudge is all we may need. After all, we don’t always get to where we want to go alone.

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