As homework for the yoga immersion that I am attending, I have been working on my yoga on a daily basis for about three weeks now. I only spend ten minutes daily on the mat. Anusara founder, John Friend, calls it the “Ten Minute Gift.” It has become a gift to me because I spend ONLY ten minutes in practice and still find growth in my poses.
I find the ten-minute practice to be beneficial because it allows me to practice as intensely as I would like without “wearing myself out.” I tend to practice in a focused way and trying to practice for thirty to forty minutes a day is much too onerous. Ten minutes is perfect.
As I practiced last week, I remember being in uttanasa (front forward bend) and thinking “I am so close to touching my nose to my knees; I have to get my nose to my knees.” As I began to “force” myself closer, feeling my form fail as I pulled, my rational brain said, “Okay. So if you get your nose to your knees, then what?”
Yes indeed. Then what? I relaxed my death grip on my legs while my mind tried to answer the question. The answer stunned me. If I were to reach the goal of getting my nose to my knees, all that I had worked for would be gone. The beauty of the movement, the challenge to align my body precisely and to enter the pose fully aligned would have been over. Instead of reaching the pose in a beautiful, healthy and safe way, I would have been crunched, congested and ugly.
I realize once again that the journey creates the joy and triumph in achieving my goal. The hard work, the anticipation, the painfully slow progress creates my depth of character and tenacity. If I rush the journey, I fail to enjoy the full spectrum of the challenges and everyday successes that eventually culminate in attaining my final goal.
Pushing my body to attain a higher goal is commendable and recommended. Pushing my body beyond its current capabilities is foolish. I have learned to work with my body and to speak its language. I push when my body has more to offer and readily retreat when my body is beyond its limits.
Respecting and honoring my limits throughout the years has provided over a decade of training that has been nearly injury-free. And I have learned to revel and enjoy the process as much as the goal attainment.
My desire in creating Warsaw’s Secret Studio is to share the joy of the journey so that you will keep setting and achieving your fitness goals while fully enjoying the open road on your way!
Pilsung (Certain Victory),