If you’re new to yoga and you’re just scrolling through Instagram looking at all of these challenging poses of women who must be the spawn of Gumby and the Hulk, you might be a little discouraged that you aren’t where they are.
But here’s what you don’t see behind that beautifully executed and possibly edited pose...and hopefully this is encouraging to you...
You don’t see the years and hours put in. You haven’t scrolled back to that person’s very first photo to compare to where they are now. I’ve been practicing yoga for 10 years! That’s a whole decade!! And there were seasons of my life where I could get a solid 1.5 - 2 hr practice in! Not so much these days but boy did my practice propel when I could.
(These pictures are 7 years apart)
You don’t see the person’s background either. I took gymnastics for a few years in elementary/middle school. Granted, my Coach gave me cigarettes so I don't know how much that helped. I cheered throughout middle school and high school and I played softball from elementary to high school. So even though I haven’t done yoga type movements my entire life, I have always been active and was born with pretty good body awareness.
We all have physical things about us that give us an edge. There are also physical things about us that make things harder. It’s how the good Lord put our bodies together. It’s just the way it is. My hamstrings have always been nice and long and my legs are short which make for beautiful splits and it’s easier for me to step my foot to the top of my mat from downdog and pike through from handstand to L-sit.
On the other side, due to compression in my wrist and a “longer” torso, lolasana and pressing into handstand from crow is nearly impossible (still cant do it). I'm all about pushing my body to see what's available. I believe we can all do way more than we think we can. But you have to check in with your ego. Check your motives. Some poses aren't worth pulling a hammie or breaking your wrist over.
Social media makes it easy to forget how much effort and work lies behind one single picture. So don’t be discouraged when you look at certain poses that seem to be so far away. Keep showing up. Use that as inspiration to show you what’s possible! And swipe left to see where I started. I didn’t even know some of these arm balances existed until a few years into my practice.