The hardest pose in yoga, seriously

Bobbie’s already put in her pick, and it is hard to argue with savasana. (Although our friend and music guide Naren Schreiner suggest on Facebook a three-hour Padmasana. I can see that.)

But I want to jump in and suggest another one: the next pose.

Now, that may sound facetious, and to a certain extent, perhaps, it may be. I’m on the record as not doing asana practice for the fun and uplift of it, so a blanket choice that covers every conceivable pose fits my love hate relationship with asana.

But I mean it.

And I mean it this way: Thoughts about the next pose intrude upon my current, my present pose, making it more difficult or challenging. My thoughts are elsewhere — so forget “yogaå citta-vëtti-nirodhaï” — and on either the next pose, or the next: “next pose,” I suppose, stands in for everything but where I’m at. My breathing, as a result, isn’t full and long and equal. My bandhas are on vacation. My dristi whirls.

It is the next pose that makes yoga so difficult, so — frankly — impossible. But, of course, it is the next pose — the possibility it represents for union; for stillness; for control of breath, bandhas and dristi — that motivates our efforts and attempts, our studies, our searches.

It is the inherent and fundamental difficulty that drives us. Or me, at least.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

3 thoughts on “The hardest pose in yoga, seriously”

  1. Oh, I totally agree. Sometimes I want to give up, and just remind myself that it’s only 5 breaths. I also realize it’s nothing but avoidance. So, I just breathe and observe. Sometimes the hardest is just “the next pose. It’s just getting through it. But, it’s great because you learn you can get through anything. Ashtanga just asks 5 breaths. It’s not so bad, but it seems awful at the time.

    I’ve been curious about the correct way to do savasana. I’ve heard you’re not supposed to be completely relaxed, but actually a little stiff like a corpse. I’ve never found anything to confirm that, but just heard some rumors. Anyone know?

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