August 21st, 2017
When thinking of yoga, not too often do we associate it with competition. We are directed to focus on our own mat. Focus on what we need for that day, whether it is adjustments, modifications or extensions. But what permission is given to us when we are “taking what we need?”
There are days when rolling out a mat and getting to our class is an accomplishment in itself. There are other days when we choose to continue to grow our practice with the various layers that are presented to us. Although, we are told not to, sometimes it feels instinctual to compare our practice to the person practicing next to us. Our bodies are screaming to rest in child’s pose for a round of breath, but our competitiveness mocks us instead. So we continue to with our practice, not taking what we need.
At times this is beneficial, challenging our minds to quiet a little longer and allow our bodies to push their limits.
What happens when you want to take child’s pose, but you’re in front of the class? Do you allow yourself to do so?
What message are we sending to ourselves when we don’t take what we need?
Quite possibly, it is that we are reiterating that our needs, wants and feelings should not be validated. Throughout the day, both men and women, are constantly bombarded with messages stating we are not worth what we need or feel. After hearing those message for a certain length of time, it is easy to become accustomed to believing them.
Take a moment and think about the things you need — if you were told “take what you need,” what would that list look like for you? Certainly, it is more than a cycle of child’s pose.
This idea of taking what we need, pops up in all areas of our live. Which in turn means, not validating what we need might show up in all aspects of our lives as well.
What if our yoga practice is where we practice allowing ourselves to take what we need, not because our instructor tells us we can, but because we give ourselves to permission to do so. Without competitiveness. Without shame. The location of where we set up our mat should not determine whether or not you validate your needs. Who is sharing the space with you should not determine whether or not you validate your needs.
The fact you need them, should be validation enough.
Allow this to be your permission to take what you need.
Take the back corner spot of the studio.
Take child’s pose when it isn’t cued.
Skip Chaturanga and go straight into downward facing dog.
And do it, knowing that is what you need.
You needing something different, than what is being asked of you, is okay.