22

Start small and the path will illuminate itself

22For the first few years of my yoga practice, there were certain postures I didn’t even attempt. They just seemed too advanced for a beginner like me.

Until one day when my instructor said something I’ll never forget.

We don’t always need to get better, just less threatened.

A few minutes later, our class came to the dreaded camel pose. The back bending posture that opens the entire front side of the body. The mother of all yogic movements. But thanks to her insight, for the first time in my yoga life, instead of sitting out on my mat and watching the other students in admiration, I decided to give it a shot.

Here we go.

I inhaled, leaned back, and before I knew it, I had achieved the full expression of the posture. I couldn’t believe my own body. And the surprising part was, executing that pose wasn’t nearly as scary as I imagined. Not even close. In fact, by the time the posture was finished, I thought to myself, that was it? That’s what I was scared of for two years?

Turns out, competence wasn’t the issue, confidence was. I allowed fear to have too loud of a voice. But the minute I actually paid attention to the man behind the curtain, everything changed.

That’s the thing about fear. When the voice doesn’t scare us, when the reputation doesn’t intimidate us, and when the smoke doesn’t dissuade us, we become the great and powerful ones.

How will you recognize and remove the resistance that inhibits your process?

Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and workstudy volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.