Approaching Challenging Yoga Poses

Approaching Challenging Yoga Poses

One of yoga’s greatest gifts is the process of working with challenging asanas. In your practice, there will be asanas that you love, and approach with ease and joy each time. You’ll also quickly discover asanas that are more of a struggle, and that you want to skip entirely. This, of course, is a mirror for the obstacles and challenges we meet in life and how we choose to react to them.

The key is to approach difficult asanas with compassion and curiosity. The best way to do this is to breathe through the discomfort toward your edge, without forcing yourself into the pose.

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Remember, a key tenet of yoga is ahimsa, or nonviolence, which also refers to the relationship you have with yourself on the mat. Rather than pushing a pose, back off. Reach for a prop to create more stability or space in the body, or take Child’s Pose Pose to avoid any strain or stress. Let go.

If you’re nursing an injury, consult your physician or physical therapist before you begin practicing yoga. Once you’re cleared to practice, honor your injury with proper alignment, patience, and awareness. Back off from any pain or strain. Like challenging poses, injuries are an opportunity to listen to your body rather than your ego and let go of any expectations.

Revolved Half Moon with a Block. A block can aid in alignment, making the asana more attainable and enjoyable.

BASIC POSES

Practicing the asanas is how you’ll build your yoga practice. It’s best to start with the basics. These asanas are included in most yoga sequences and are part of a well-rounded yoga practice.

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