Child’s Pose

Since the running injury in the fall, I’ve been forcing myself to take yoga at least once a week (well, usually only once a week, though I also practice by myself once a week).  I’m still forcing myself: I’m not particularly excited about giving up a morning of running or rest for a morning of contortions and bad music and namastes.  But I push on, mostly because, well, it works. I tend to feel better after a yoga class: my injury feels healed, I’m more flexible, and I usually run very well the next day.

But the other day was different. The yoga class I go to is very, very beginning, and I like that. Also, the instructor focuses on different areas of the body, addressing the needs of several of us in the class (I’m known, not always so fondly, as Annie’s Hip Day).  But it seems she now wants us to actually advance to more difficult moves, so the other day was Inversion Day: poses that required us to trust our balance and our core or arm strength, and not accidentally break our necks.

I have a serious problem with any pose or activity that requires me to be upside down. When I was in elementary school, the gym teacher called my mother up (those were the days) and complained that I refused to participate on rope climbing AND tumblesault days.  Well, being an ex-jock, this truly disturbed mom, so she spent an entire evening trying to show me how easy a tumblesault was. 

I refused.

She got so angry (and this is now family legend) that she threw one of her high heeled shoes that just so happened to be lying near us into the wall, creating a lovely hole (we were renting at the time making the hole particularly problematic for my not very house-savvy single mother). 

After the high heel hole incident, mom gave up trying to teach me to tumblesault, and I gave up ever trying to do one. To this day, still haven’t. The gym teacher must have just given up on me, too.

So, when the yoga instructor tried to convince me that the crow (pictured above) or the tripod were very easy poses, and that I certainly had the strength to do them, I rebelled and sulked in child’s pose for the rest of the class. 

My inner elementary aged child took over.

10 responses to “Child’s Pose

  1. i cracked my ribs doing tumbles for judo, after much protesting that i would break something. no way in hell i’d do that break your face pose. i’ll hang out on the bench with you. yoga is *supposed to* be stress RELIEF! amirite?

  2. That looks so hard! I’ve been able to do somersaults but nary a head-stand or cartwheel (the latter has been particularly regrettable). Ah well. We’re more cerebral! That’s how I look at it 😉

    Sorry about the run injury, BTW.

  3. Hugs for your owies, first!!! ((((((((Annie)))))))

    And second, good for you for Just Saying No.

    Third, if you’re going to sulk, child’s pose is exactly the right choice!


  4. Namaste, JC, Pocha, and Inky. I’m sticking to pain-relieving, stress-releasing yoga, and not the stressful kind. And heck, I do like child’s pose;-)

  5. Inverting can be really terrifying! It raises all sorts of fears about balance, stability, certainty … which is probably why yoga encourages us to do it. In addition to the physical benefits (which are legion), inverting enables us to gain confidence about our ability to survive and even thrive within up-side-down life situations (metaphorically speaking).

    As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of inversions in yoga: love hand balances, back bends, headstand, etc. But, they are *hard* and *advanced* and you are right to listen to yourself about what you are up for and what you are not. It seems to me that you aren’t ready for them … but you might try (gentle suggestion) not thinking of them as something you are forced to do or that you will be punished for not doing (or not doing well) … but as something you might, one day, aspire to.

    My yoga guru says that the first 5 years of devoted yoga study are just preparatory … it’s really only after that one begins to truly grasp the benefits and challenges of yoga. So, taking that big picture approach, you’ve got plenty of time to work up to a lovely arm balance.

  6. Hi BSGirl: was hoping you, my bloggy yoga guru, would reply!

    And thank you: sounds like I have over 4 years to “prepare” myself mentally and emotionally for doing inversions. I don’t think I felt “forced” to do them, but there was a certain level of peer pressure (everyone else was able to do the crow on the first try), and at the end of class during (what is that called??), the instructor said we should release “any fear and anxiety” from the class focused on inversions—that certainly felt targeted to me (and yes, I know, “targeted” is already a hostile term).

    Clearly I have issues with yoga: I’m still going to go to the class. I suppose what bugged me most is that I was really starting to enjoy the classes, recognize the benefits, not cringe during the “nameste” part, and then was hit with this wall.

    Heck, it sucks being a student sometimes. Good lesson for me;-)

  7. Are tumblesaults the same as somersaults? Either way, I can’t, and could never do, somersaults. My parents also tried to teach me at home but I always ended up rolling on my shoulder and then just turning sideways.

    And that pose looks hard, I don’t care what your instructor said!

  8. Yes, I guess they are the same thing (maybe they are called something else depending on geography? interesting…).

    Tumble, though, has more meaning for me: I refuse to voluntarily tumble. And I suppose I’ll never learn to be a real kayaking, either, because you need to be trained in rolling upside down while in them.

    But, someday, perhaps, I just may try a crow pose. Maybe. But as BSGirl says, I have 4 years to gain the courage;-)

  9. It’s a wonderfully comfortable position: you’re on your knees, with your upper body spread in front of you on the floor. So it’s not quite fetal position….(that’s probably called something else;-)

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