An Insight From Yoga

Yoga teaches me many insights that don’t immediately seem related to yoga.

For example, direct your friend to imagine a person doing yoga. Typically, their immediate image will be someone in a crazy, super flexible pose.

Like these, for instance. Take out the zen and the sex and you’re left with crazy poses. That’s what most of us think about when we think about yoga.

What you don’t realize is how much work it takes to get to that point. Not just in general, but how much work is needed right before the photo to build up to holding the crazy pose.

Recently in class, Jeff, our instructor had us on our backs, trying to bring our feet behind our head. We spent many minutes slowly progressing our hips looser and looser. After a while, we’d take a short break in another pose, and then return to our backs and working our feet up further and further.

We spent 10 minutes on it, a long time in one pose for our class. Jeff explained that higher level teachers will spend 30+ minutes deepening a single pose.

(It’s surprising how flexible you can get when you have enough time to loosen up.)

And that’s how people get into the crazy poses for the photos. They just don’t sit down and dive into the hardest pose. It’s not immediate. They methodically work their body and progress up to it. Then they take the photo and enjoy the success.

Some times it’s easy to forget the years of practice leading up to and the progression they went through immediately before the photo was captured.

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