One of my yoga therapy course work assignments is to practice certain postures and to write about what I learn about my body in relation to the pose. One of the poses I am practicing this term is yoga mudra. I’ve chosen to do this pose while in lunge position. My body enjoys this pose; it is strangely comforting and edgy all at once. I think it’s because I fold into myself, but at the same time, I am using strength through my legs to support and balance myself while my arms extend and stretch out away from me.
One day when I was practicing this pose I realized I could stretch my arms up further than I was doing… and it was easy. At that moment I had an awareness and it brought me back to a time when I was doing this pose on the rocky shores of Maui. My husband had taken a picture of me doing it and I remembered seeing the photo thinking my arms were not reaching very high. What I have since realized was in this photo, and countless times thereafter, I was NOT demonstrating my full ability, and the awareness became: sometimes I hold back and even when I know I can push further (and when it is completely safe for me to do so!). Hmmm… what an interesting realization. So what am I holding back for?
This became a very insightful question for me to ask myself, “What am I holding back for?”, and with some space and acceptance, a big learning piece emerged. Without going into all the gloriously messy details, let’s just say I realized I was holding a fear of fully expressing myself, a coping strategy learned from my younger years which no longer serves me. Wow, what an awareness – all from the simple practice of one pose allowing my body to speak it’s wisdom.
So… back to “what I learned about my body in relation to this pose”, of course my arms can extend further, so let them… and I have.