My Bunny. Again.

YOGA GETS BETTER AS YOU GET OLDER!!!. I spent much time in the past working on some postures that tend to look more impressive e.g. Padmasana (Lotus), classic Yoga meditation pose; it took me five years to get into that one.  Hanumanasana (that’s Yoga splits) took me 7 years (that’s a SEVEN folks!).  Even in the not so ‘grand gesture’ postures it took me 10 years (TEN) to be able to grasp my foot in Standing Leg Head to Knee as per dialogue instruction without opening my hands first.  I am not naturally flexible and when I don’t work on those poses I ‘lose’ them and have to work on them again to get them back. (Children are more flexible but some more flexible than others; I see my 7 year old daughter {written 2015} cannot do any type of split where some of her friends move into them with apparent ease. See! it runs in the family. Not ‘naturally’ flexible.)  I work diligently on my Bikram sequence of poses and it is a beautiful challenge that I plan to work on indefinitely.

Whilst I have overcome many challenges in ALL of the postures (none come easy), Sasangasana (Rabbit) has been THE.BIG.ONE for me in that the ‘challenge’ has been the longest. When I was new to this practice I thought Rabbit the EASIEST and then six months in the lights shone on my Rabbit (a realisation I had been using incorrect technique) and suddenly it became the most difficult in the sequence when I started trying to do it the RIGHT way ~ and so it has remained.

It used to frustrate especially when I felt that the world and his dog could do a ‘better’ Rabbit than me 🙂 .  All around me seemed to move into this pose with such ease. I had huge internal turmoil around the fact that I couldn’t seem to get it right. Even on the Bikram teacher training I couldn’t demonstrate it to any level where the tutors thought I was actually trying, they seemed to mistake my grinding to a halt about two inches from my heels as me being weak/not trying.  I couldn’t even ‘teach’ the pose, I couldn’t get the necessary words out.  An emotional block had sprung up where this pose was concerned and I had to queue three times to ‘teach’ it before I succeeded in talking someone through this pose.  I ‘dreaded’ this pose in practice. I’d be Pootle-ing along nicely in my sequence and then FLUMP: there was ‘Rabbit’ to be dealt with! I bullied myself through it, I created a ‘crush’ sensation in my chest because I was trying to force myself into it, I over analysed it, went into it late and came out of it early. Weirdly, the benefits of Rabbit were the benefits I needed the most and I knew this and so I obsessed.

But I got my breakthrough with Sasangasana and it wasn’t physical. It was more mental and emotional. I made my peace with it and let go of any feeling that I needed to ‘achieve’ it.  I decided enough was enough and to show my Rabbit some LOVE instead of dread. I was trying my best after all. I started to notice more how I was FEELING in it. I focused more on refining my movements on a micro level and noticing what the breath does for me in the pose.  Yes I joke about my ‘Bad Bunny’ in class still.  I sometimes grin at Darren when he is teaching as I exit this posture knowing that I had the lowest hips in the room at the height of my Rabbit, but I no longer have negative feelings attached to it when I practice. I won’t forget where I was ‘mentally’ with my Rabbit; it’s a useful reference for me as a teacher now that my Rabbit and I are no longer foes, the memory of that turmoil is my connection to how newer students might be feeling about some/other asanas.

As my practice has aged it has become more of a purification, a mental hygiene, a letting go, a chance to start anew rather than a ‘glory of the pose’ event.

I think much of this can only come with time for some people like me this is why I am so very glad to have STARTED my Yoga practice at all and why I am now glad to be a vintage Yogi with her vintage Rabbit.

My Rabbit is 17 Years old (in 2015). My Rabbit never gets sick. My Rabbit doesn’t get any bigger BUT it doesn’t get any smaller either! Some might look at my Rabbit and frown but I KNOW my Rabbit. I LOVE my Rabbit. So you see LOVE is the only force capable of transforming your Rabbit foe into a FRIEND 🙂

Start today! You’ll feel like you wandered into a Yoga studio and fell down a rabbit hole 🙂 What a journey it will be. You’ll be glad in 17 years that you made that trip 🙂

Om Om Om Rock your Rabbit!

Love Trisha

April 2015