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Why You Shouldn't Focus On Poses While Doing Yoga?

Updated: Jul 20, 2022

I'd like you to understand is that focusing on naling the perfect pose will make you miss the most important part of Yoga.

Picture yourself going to a yoga class to do poses. Easy right ? that what most of us do. Ye book a yoga class, find a cute little outfit - that you payed way more than what it's worth because its a "yoga outfit" - you get to the yoga shala and get ready to naile perfectly all the poses. Who could blame you for that, you are just doing what everyone wants you to think : Yoga = Poses. And that also what most of teachers is explaining to you, in great detail. There’s even a lot of talk about your bones, the direction of your feets, your elbows and where to put them. So there you are, posing and thinking about what to do with your pubic bone, your hands and your right shoulder, trying to do exactly what the yoga teacher is telling you to do.

The best senario is that you’ll probably get bored pretty quickly. Slowly getting anoyed if you feel like you didn t get exactly what she meant, completely detached from your breath and frustrated if you can’t get exactly in the pose that she/he is doing. Results ? You are not gonna benefit from your yoga session (In my opinion, it shouldn't be called a "course" or a "class"). And you'l end up thinking instead of feeling.

At worst you’re aiming for poses and struggling to do them right. Inevitably, you'll put more stress and strain into your body and mind. So you’ll just get your cortisol level higher, and you’ll feel sore and tense from your yoga practice the day after. Not what we want isn't it ?

Ok, lets continue. At this point, there is a une probability that this is what will happen next : Because its not very enjoyable to think where to put your body part for an hour, you’ll start to think about something else - like the work you have to do after - and because you are stuck in this « yoga class » and can’t act on all the other things you now remember you should be doing, you will eventually really want it to be over so you can carry on and do the things you are thinking about. Not that great either right ?

"Imagine now that you’re here to feel. Really feel your body and let your mind follow the ride. Every inch that you move through to get to know yourself becomes a pleasurable discovery. Stress and tension dissolve. Your body fills with oxytocin. You’re connected, tuned in with yourself. Times fly and you are just focused on the vibration of the music and the sensations of your body. You now feel empowered and relaxed, nothing else comes up in your mind, you are just here, now. "

What I am trying to creates during my yoga practice , is this shift , from what is too often a stress-inducing experience of consecutive poses, to a meditative experience of yourself .It’s not about memorizing external rules, faithfully copied from a guru who has never seen you. It’s not about experiencing poses. It’s about you, experiencing your body. (this sentence sin't mine, its the one of one of my teachers, but i find it great ;) )

I know that for many decades, yoga focused on what the poses look like. Very rigid rules of alignment, trying to fit everyone into the same so called "right shape". But it doesn’t make much sense. And I know i'll be criticized for saying this, but my experience with my own body and yoga allows me to say that the way I got the benefits of yoga was NOT by focusing on poses. We’re all unique. We have our own backgrounds, traumas and potential health issues. Your shape is not my shape or their shapes, and that’s all good ! The world would be pretty damn boring otherwise.

"We become the best version of ourselves when we focus on creating the best version of ourselves, not a version of someone else."

Most yoga philosophy - if you take the original texts - would agree that poses aren’t so important.

When I read Pantajali’s book - the bible of yoga - I was pretty surprised to learn that poses actually are only 10% of yoga.. What is in your mind is. The direct experience of yourself is. So try to remeber that getting the perfect pose isn’t the goal. Feeling good is the goal. No rigid rules, no perfect or correct ways. You’ll see that it’s actually empowering to be the source rather than receiving and copying.

Btw, if that makes you proud and happy, you'll gate there anyway ;)

With time and practice you will definately be able to do the hard poses if you want to, but in a way that encompasses the idea of natural movement. You will know your body well enough through sensitizing yourself to how you feel and finding the best-feeling ways to do everything, that you will be able to handle almost any pose and feel really good while doing it. So keep moving gently, in every direction you can. If something hurts at first, if something immobilizes you with tension, Stop. Back off a Little bit, enough that you’re movable again without pain.

Explore in every direction from here, and your comfort zone will gradually expand. Eventually the things that were hard just won’t be hard anymore, and you’ll get there without stress or injury.

#yoga #Bulimiarecovery #feelyoubody #Mouvementfortrauma #Yogapractice #Womenempowerment #Bingeeatingdisorder #Yogaforbalance

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