Feeling My Mettle
by Kath Thompson
The other night I led Bakasana (Crow) prep poses, but when we got to the actual POSE, I really couldn’t hold it for very long. Two of my younger, more bendy students were rocking it though, and even trying advanced variations.
I was trying to help them achieve some of these variations, but I couldn’t demo what I was trying to explain, and so as I walked home from class I found myself a little grouchy, a little sad, and a little on edge.
I get very frustrated whenever I am not able to demo, or do, advanced asana in class. It makes me question my helpfulness as a teacher. I understand, in my mind, that some poses are simply not going to take shape in my particular body at this time, either because I am not strong enough, or because I lack sufficient openness in my hips, or simply because my bones won’t allow it.
But I also know that if I work towards these poses, and if that work is performed patiently, with reverence, and for a long time, my body can probably express any shape I wish.
That’s because if there is one thing I do know how to do exceedingly well, it is practice. I know how to sit down on my mat and begin. I know how to dial-in quickly, and, without a lot of fanfare, stay dialed-in –on everything, including that endless running head-chatter about how impossible it all is.
When I enter my practice room these days, time slows waaay down, then it seems to stop completely. An hour or so later I emerge and can hardly speak, or even remember what transpired.
As I am nearing the 5-month mark in my daily yoga streak, I am feeling really different, really strong–not in my body, though there is some of that, but in what I am made of; I feel my “mettle,” so to speak. I am feeling the results of 150 days of good, sustained practice, and it feels really, really good.