How You Transition Between Poses Is More Important Than How Good You Are at The Postures

 

A couple of years into my yoga practice, when I thought I figured the whole yoga thing out (hah!), I was a little too proud of myself for being familiar with the poses that my instructors used most often.

One day, one of my teachers threw a curveball at me. She said it was not just important to notice not just how our bodies are aligned within each posture, but how we maintained our form as we transitioned between one pose and the next. This struck a chord with me. My transitions were incredibly sloppy.

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How We Behave On The Mat Reflects How We Behave Off Of It

She went on to explain that how we transition from pose to pose in our classes reflects how we transition between our day to day activities. I reflected on this and knew she was right. I realized that I might be doing a lot of things, and doing many of them well, but sometimes I’m sort of a disaster in the process. If the focus was only on certain achievements, it might have seemed like I was doing pretty well, but if the frame shifted to  the big picture, I knew I was missing an important piece of overall functionality.


Changes We Make Linger Off the Mat

I started to work on it. I began moving more deliberately between one pose and the next. I worked to focus not only on mastering a pose, but mastering how I got there. My work on the mat seems to be working even when I’m not on it. I’m not rushing from one place to the next as often. I’m learning to become more present during my “in-between” times, not just when I’m expected to be “on”. I remind myself more often that my life is always “on”.


Practice Does Not Make Perfect (But It Does Make Better)

They still happen, those botched transitions. My heart races, I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, I yell at my loved ones around me. When I fail to hold it together during my “down time”, I am forced to recognize that there is no end to this work and there is always more practice needed. I remind myself to spend more time on my mat in order to see more effective results off of it.


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Christine Skoutelas is a mama, writer, doodler, runner, and yogi. She is a depression fighter and gratitude practicer. Follow her blog, A Morning Grouch, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.