Quieting Demons During Downward Dog

Posted by Paige Oxlaj on Monday, September 9, 2013 Under: yoga
Downward dog has never been my favorite pose. In fact, I kinda hated it until yesterday.  The pose made my wrists hurt, my arms tired, my calf muscles scream.... but yoga teachers routinely told me it was a resting pose. Over the years, I built strength in my wrists and it was no longer painful, but I never enjoyed the experience of being an up-side-down V.

Yesterday, though, everything clicked. I had an "aha" moment. Instead of focusing my energy on my arms and the stretching in my calf muscles and calculating exactly how long I had to hold the pose for, I let everything go - quieted my mind and just focused on breathing.

Like in meditation, I allowed my body and mind to scream STOP, but I breathed their objections away. I focused solely on breathing deeply and slowly. After about two minutes I felt my body let go, the muscles that had been held rigid for so long relaxed, my arms found strength and my body sunk into the pose allowing it to be the illusive relaxation pose that teachers had talked about for years.

"What we resist persists," in both yoga and life. By resisting a pose that I found challenging, I spent a great deal of energy mentally objecting to my yoga practice. I allowed my inner saboteur to convince me to stop the pose long before my body was ready to, and I missed out on the opportunity to achieve change in my body, strength in my spirit and a sense of achievement in my mind.

When I quieted the voice of doubt, let go and allowed myself to just be, the pose became less challenging. My breathing was calmer and steadier and I felt my body allow itself to open. I believe that this is true not only in yoga, but in life as well, when we stop resisting and allow life to flow - we become the river instead of the fish swimming upstream.

To do that in yoga I have clear my mind and allow my body the time and space to open up. If yoga can be a metaphor for life, then remaining present and steadfast will keep my inner saboteur from distracting me from my dreams.

In : yoga 

Tags: yoga  downward dog  realization   
blog comments powered by Disqus
blog comments powered by Disqus

Living Life of Adventure, One Breath at a Time

Paige Deiner My life is a wild carpet ride full of unique experiences and one of a kind adventures. I sometimes find myself holding onto the tassels, rather than sitting squarely in the middle of my "magic carpet" - but so far I haven't fallen off and I'm loving the ride. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and a Yoga Alliance 200 yoga instructor. I have been a Reiki Master for 8 years, and have meditated since childhood. My daughter thinks I'm a hippie, I think I am a very organized dreamer. The truth may be somewhere in the middle. I would probably be a vegetarian but I fear mutiny... But I do try my best to practice what I preach. I yoga everyday and meditate nightly. I am lucky enough to have a fantastic Reiki partner so I receive some universal wisdom each Tuesday. And I am an avid, nerdy reader. I clean to books on tape, and usually read about two non-fiction and one fiction book a week.