I was at my class on Thursday sweating profusely as I was crumbled in child’s pose after some extended holds and vinyasa flows out of Warrior II. I realized then and there that I work too hard at yoga, put too much effort into the asanas and movements. I always marvel at slender women getting to poses that defy gravity even though they do not have bulging muscles. It’s not because women are innately more flexible than men because many of these poses do not require “being bent into pretezels” (I hate that cliché because it appears in almost every newspaper article about yoga).
I no longer grunt when I go into Crow pose or Revolved Side Angle pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana), but it does not come easy. Part of the problem is that I am not efficient in using my muscular strength. I don’t access the right muscles to make the pose possible and try to overpower the pose by using more (but inappropriate) muscle. That creates more rigidity, which in turn makes the pose harder.
So I have decided to back off my practice a bit, and focus on catch each pose correctly.