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Arathi Menon
Arathi Menon

MIND YOUR MAT

Fear factor

yoga-2
  • As I got deep into the subject I realised yoga is much more than a body in a complicated bind.

  • I resisted Shirsasana for as long as I could. Most students in the class were doing it so easily, I felt even more resistant to try it out in a class.

Every now and then, my Facebook wall gets filled with baby pictures and videos. These are my friends who are making babies and putting their pictures on the wall. I call them “baby bores”. I had the urge to do that when I had one but reined it in because I knew nobody is interested in my child other than myself. I was very careful not to indulge in the baby topic. A few times I did was with my friends who were genuinely interested in my baby stories. I am not a baby bore myself. What I am is a yoga bore.

I got drawn to yoga when I was really young and the main reason was my flexibility. I could drop back so easily as a kid, it scared me. Many people shy away from yoga because it is perceived as something that demands flexibility. “I can't do yoga because I can't touch my toes” is a complaint that yogis often hear. You don't need to be flexible to practise yoga. The instagram pictures that intimidate you are that of yogis who have been practising for years.

As I got deep into the subject I realised yoga is much more than a body in a complicated bind. I could still be the one in the class who is doing a jaw-dropping marichyasana C perfectly but I fail miserably at inversions. Should that stop me from reaping the larger benefits of the practice? Absolutely no!

I resisted Shirsasana for as long as I could. Most students in the class were doing it so easily, I felt even more resistant to try it out in a class. At home, I felt slightly more relaxed but did not succeed in my Shirsasana until one day I fell from the pose with a resounding thud. That is when I realised, the monster in my head (the fear) that held me back was ant-sized and I could pick up my pieces and move on faster than I thought. Fear is such an overpowering feeling and so abstract that we resist most experiences in life for the fear of the unknown.

Yoga is not just a physical practice; it is a philosophy. It makes you see your strengths from weaknesses. It also shows you ways to work on your weaknesses and hone your strengths. When you build your own individual practice irrespective of where you fare in the pecking order in the class, your practice will blossom. Like the famous yoga guru K. Pattabhi Jois once said: “Practice and all is coming”.

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Topics : #yoga | #women | #fitness | #opinion

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