Chaturanga – a lesson in strength

Chaturanga - a lesson in strengthAnd now we come to the pose that has been the main source of my problems.

After my first few years of doing yoga I thought my chaturanga was pretty decent (top pose). I believed what I was told – more practice makes you stronger and better. So I persisted – by choice because I loved the practice. The middle pose is from about 6 years ago. My problems had started but I thought that continuing my practice, with more attention and mindfulness, would make me stronger and resolve my problems. Fast forward to the bottom pose, taken 1 year ago and you can see that my shoulders are not where they belong, even from my knees!

Why do we need injuries to wake us up? After a week-end of hard core workshops my shoulders said enough with constant pain and more and more tightness. When I finally listened to my body I realized that I simply couldn’t avoid the facts – 18 years of practice and the thousands of chaturangas had played havoc with my shoulders. I needed to look outside the yoga box.

That has led me to interesting places – starting with a personal training, finding strength work with @yogadetour and @kathrynbruniyoung. It has been 18 months of exploring new ways of moving and gaining strength in all my weak spots – and there are lots of those.

As yoga teachers it is important to teach from personal experience and from the heart. What I experience in my body is likely experienced by others – well I know for a fact as I see all the chronically tight shoulders hunched in this pose. The good news is I constantly bring my personal lessons and learnings to my students. So many less chaturangas in my classes these days but finding news and more interesting ways to bring diverse strength and stability to my classes.

(Originally posted to Instagram – follow along here »)

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