Own your poses, not the other way around

My husband was sitting in the yoga room while I was doing my self practice. During one of the inversions, I murmured, “What is the point of all those super challenging yoga poses when the basic ones can do the work?” Without thinking, my husband answered, “Because it’s a good business.”

The way he spilled out this answer in such a casual manner had an dramatic contrast with myself in awe of this simple truth. “I have never thought of it this way, but yes, I can see what you mean…”

This reminds me of the old time when I practiced only to conquer challenging poses. I never thought of using poses to make money, but deep in my mind I did have a thinking that I would be forgotten if I wasn’t able to continue to improve. For years I thought I was working hard for the students, later I realize I was working hard to stay away from the fear of abandonment.

I have stopped proving myself and pushing myself through all the challenging poses these couple years, not because I have conquered them all, but I guess I don’t have the interest in different ways to position my body anymore. I asked myself, “Am I giving up just because it’s too difficult?” Not really. I guess I practiced only to keep my body & mind mobile and strong, and I didn’t see the reason to choose the difficult ones when the simple ones can do the trick. Of course, occasionally I went after the difficult ones for some fun, but I no longer want to use my practice to prove my worth to others. My husband’s comment acted as a mirror for me, who works in the yoga business, “Yoga poses are simply tools, by themselves they are neither good nor bad, it all depends on how you make use of them.”

To me, yoga teaches me how to love, respect, and embrace myself. As long as it does the work, it doesn’t matter if it’s challenging or simple. What works for you now might not help you the next moment, so it’s all about learning to use the right tool at the right time.

Own your poses, don’t let the poses own you.