Have you ever tried a Hot Power Vinyasa class? It's hard. I walked in knowing it was going to be hard, but the reason why it was so hard surprised me. It wasn’t what I expected. We were holding side plank, and the instructor told us to float our top leg.
Okay, nothing new there. Then, he told us to grab our foot and extend our top leg and arm. What? Okay, I pulled it off without falling. Phew. Next, put down the top leg, keep the bind, float the back leg, twisted half-moon. Wait, what? All in one motion? I can't do this.
Throughout the class, I realized we were going to float just about everything. Anywhere my hand could touch the ground, we’d float it. Every time my foot could be stabilizing my body, we’d float it. I definitely stumbled, fell, and lost my footing. I felt embarrassed—until I got the hang of it. Then, I felt elated.
Even when I stumbled, I knew that I could do something that I couldn’t do before. Now, I never want to go back. This practice encouraged me to make risk-taking a lifestyle.
When you float an arm or a leg during a pose, you are pushing yourself to not become complacent with your practice. This isn’t just for yoga instructors or lifelong yogis—anyone can do it. You might stumble, fall, or embarrass yourself in class, but who cares?
Life doesn’t wait for you to get two feet on the ground, so make a habit of taking risks and trusting yourself. This will make it easier to trust yourself with bigger risks and decisions in life.
Becoming complacent in your practice is like staying at a job you hate—it’s easier, more comfortable, but not very fulfilling. The attitude and habits you keep during yoga carry over to your personal and work life as well. The more risks you take during yoga, the more risks you will take outside the studio.
The practice of floating my limbs off of the floor when I could be using them to stabilize me, also encouraged me to not take my practice too seriously.
If you’re afraid to do inversions or float that leg because you don’t want to feel silly during class, drop that mentality. Yoga is supposed to be fun, start feeling silly during class! You do yoga for yourself, not for anyone else. Your job doesn’t depend on your practice, your life doesn’t depend on your practice, and your loved ones don’t depend on your practice. So, stop taking it too seriously, and have some fun with it.
Fall down, get back up, and seriously push yourself. I left my practice today glowing, and it was because of my ability to disregard my own self-consciousness in favor of working harder and having more fun with my yoga.
This post was originally published at YOGANONYMOUS.