DAY TWELVE: Surprise!!

Author: thedancingj /

This is too funny.

I must confess that I have been taking a very casual approach to this challenge so far.  It's not going to be the most yoga I've ever done, I will do more yoga than this in the future, and I know I can finish this challenge, no problem.  I love being in this with a group, following everyone's journeys, and cheering people on through their own challenges (especially since for many, this is the most yoga they've ever done).  But I haven't been expecting any earth-shattering changes in my own practice.  It's just a few more months in a lifetime of practice.

Or so I thought...

In my 13th class of the challenge last night (I did a couple doubles), I noticed something odd.  Then I checked a bunch of pictures, and my suspicion was confirmed.

I've been doing standing bow pose wrong for the last 5 years.

Surprise!!!

Now, it's not like I've been doing everything wrong.  This is overall a strong pose for me.  I can lock out and everything.  But there was one thing that never occurred to me.  It's the placement of the free hand, the one that's stretching towards the mirror.  I have always lined up this hand somewhere between my eyes in the mirror.  I don't know why.  This just seemed like a good place for it.  To be perfectly honest, I never really put a lot of thought into it.  But before class yesterday, I was checking out some pictures of the 2007 and 2009 female world champions demonstrating the posture, and I compared their postures to mine.  This is hardly the first time I've done this exercise, but this time I really noticed that their arms were perfectly straight, parallel to the floor, and my arm was angled up just a little bit.  So I decided to fix this in class.  Um.  That forced me to put my hand in a completely different place!  I could see my whole face above my hand in the mirror!!  I have definitely never done the pose that way before in my life.  I checked every picture I've ever taken of myself in standing bow, dating back to 2008.  Yup!!  The hand is too high in all of them, with ONE exception.  In my profile picture, which I took at the Grand Canyon, the hand is low enough.  But that was only because I was balancing with my fingertips on the railing!!  So... I guess now, after 5 years of the same thing, I will experiment with putting my hand in a slightly different spot, and I will be seeing something totally different in the mirror...

Why am I rambling on and on about one stupid detail from my personal practice, you ask?  Because I am so amused and delighted that the "twenty-six and two" can still surprise the heck out of me.  Because theoretically, I totally knew that it's an awesome practice and you can spend your whole life learning about the postures.  But it had been a long time since I discovered that I had the wrong idea about a posture altogether, and you wouldn't believe what a huge grin it put on my face.

Enjoy your challenges, everyone... because no matter how many hundreds or thousands of classes you've already taken, these hundred (and one) will still be a new experience.  And there are plenty of surprises in store.

9 comments:

The Missus said...

Whoa... I never thought about that before. Every time I've seen you do Standing bow (either in person or in pictures), I've always thought, "OMG! So pretty!"

This is why this is a "lifetime practice." Always somewhere to go, something new to learn.

bikramyogachick said...

I can totally picture your excitement when you found this out. I know how much you love to dissect the dialog and these postures! :)

aHappyYogi said...

I tried the lower arm in Standing Bow and it is different, cool, thank you for sharing!

thedancingj said...

@ theMissus - I mean... in the grand scheme of things, it is SUCH a tiny tweak. Never occurred to me, or any of the super amazing teachers who have looked at the posture over the years. But it feels like a TOTALLY different posture!! Gotta love it.

Bikram Yoga Rockstar said...

I totally get it! I've noticed so many small intricate details about my practice more in the past few weeks than I have in the past few years. So be delighted! You deserve it!!! :)

Christopher said...

It's funny how the deeper you go in your practice, the more fine tuning occurs. And I mean fine as in subtle and slight, but wholly meaningful. I noticed a similar thing in bow with my alignment and now I have 100 days to work on it. I'm excited.

Thanks for the surprise!

thedancingj said...

I'm glad you guys "get it", too! This is a lot of fun. And Christopher, I just love that you said "now I have 100 days to work on it" instead of "now I have to work on it for 100 days." THAT'S the spirit. ;-)

Johan said...

I was in second set today when I thought what the heck I'll try J's little tip. I can see what you mean it sure feels different. I've still got a long way to go with this posture but it feels like it's progressing at an impressive rate. I just need to get the hip more level.

thedancingj said...

Don't worry about the hip!!! Just come down... kick back and up... stretch forward more... kick back more, kick harder... :)

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