Focus On The Tough Spots


I think it is human nature to tend to want to go easier as things get harder. But why is that? Why is it such a mental challenge to stay in the game? To push our selves further then we thought we could go? Recently a friend and I were talking about Yoga and she told me that a lot of times she gets discouraged during Yoga classes due to the number of balance positions your average Yoga class contains. She said that due to a back problem her balance is off more so than other peoples and trying to do balance poses in Yoga is nearly impossible and embarrassing. She said that she hates the feeling of not being able to complete the pose while everyone around her seems to be doing just fine.

This is a common reason for anxiety for a lot of Yoga goer's and the balance poses have haunted almost every person I have come across. Although it may be difficult there are two forms of advice that I have for people who struggle with these feelings during Yoga class and sometimes don't attend Yoga at all out of the anxiety of being embarrassed or frustrated. 

Number One

Don't look around. Stare at the top of your mat, at your hands, at the wall in front of you, or at your instructor but don't look around. Yoga is not a team sport, it is an internal, individual practice that is meant just for you. So don't look around. If you are one of those people who just can't beat the curiosity bug and needs to know how everyone in the class is doing, pay attention to what you are thinking as you watch other people's poses. Do you once ever say, wow that person is TERRIBLE why is she here! I hardly doubt it. If I ever see a person who seems to be struggling in a class that only thing that ever comes into my mind is "good for them, I'm glad they came to class, and I am glad they are trying". This should due well to calm some of those nerves associated to embarrassment. There is no need to be embarrassed when whoever may catch a glimpse of your pose is just shooting you good thoughts of encouragement.

Number Two

Don't back off! If you want to improve in Yoga and therefore release some of your stress towards being embarrassed then you can't back off. The poses that plague you the most are the ones that you should be putting all of your energy into. So if balance poses are hard for you, maybe save up a bit of energy right before that balance sequence to get yourself ready and prepared for the difficult moves ahead. When working on a move that doesn't come easily my best advice is to pick on spot in front of you and stare at it so hard that your mind completely shuts off. If you focus all of your attention to that one spot you will not be nearly as aware of the movements your body is making and when we are less inhibited in our movements we tend to do them better.

I hope you take the time to focus on the tough spots in your life whether it be in yoga or elsewhere.  These moments of mental and physical challenge are what can give some of the greatest senses of accomplishment and joy. You don't want to miss out, so don't back down. It's your life and you can do whatever it is you want to.