This is an appropriate post for where I am and what I’m doing this week, which is “on break” and “not much.” But I’ve noticed for some time now that so many of us are slightly to very uncomfortable with the idea of being still and I’m surprised by this. Not because being still is easy or instantly makes us feel better but because in our day and age there’s so much talk about the power of slowing down, shutting off, getting quiet that I thought we’d all be on board by now. I guess I under estimated the equally powerful messages of hurrying up, staying busy, and constantly moving forward.
If I haven’t mentioned this before let me reiterate that when it comes to exercise I am a perpetual beginner, especially when the exercise involves yoga. The term “awkward bird” comes to mind. However, for the last ten years I’ve returned again and again to restorative yoga as a way of saying “thank you” and “keep up the good work” to my body and one of the more challenging pieces of this practice I’ve encountered is frog pose. Here’s how it goes…
First, you somehow get yourself into this bizarre stance and realize how non-receptive your hips are to what you’re about to do. Next, you “settle in.” Then you begin to feel really, REALLY unsettled. You’re directed to let go of everything you’re holding onto and the person guiding you through this makes this sound like the most awesome idea ever. However, everything inside of you in that moment is saying “no freaking way.” And then you sit in that tug of war between letting go and holding on for about five to ten minutes.
Extra bonus, while you’re playing mental pong, you may start to feel waves of anxiety roll over you. You might even cry. I consider the tears just a part of the pose at this point.
Again, I’ve been working on frog for the last decade and while I avoid it a little bit less than I used to, I still come to it with a deep breath and some mild resistance. But I do it (almost) every day to remember that stillness is hard. Sitting with our anxiety is hard. Looking at parts of our stories is hard. And I can’t be with people doing this if I’m not practicing it myself and not just in frog pose but as much as I can throughout my day.
The good news (because there is some!) is that we release and come through having learned something about ourselves, having listened to a part of ourselves that needed to be heard. The more dynamic poses become deeper and fuller because we are working from a truer foundation.
So namaste and drink water and stretch your body and of course, be well.- K