An Insight into Skill

A jug fills drop by drop.

There is no magic pill that produces greatness, it is achieved overtime via slow and deliberate actions. People become skilled at what they do by doing it. They possess no innate gift of perfection. These individuals choose a path and step after step they walk along it. There are difficult days, easy days, days of enthusiastic optimism and days of utter despair and hopelessness. What separates the experts from novices is dedication through it all; not stopping at the first sign of success and not quitting at the first sign of failure.

Yoga teaches us to practice. Some people say, “I am embarrassed to go to a yoga class because I am not flexible, I will look like a fool.” Yoga is the antidote to rigidity. Through continually performing poses we become flexible. This will not happen over night, I have been working specifically on hip openers for over a month and pigeon pose stills makes me nauseous; however, I press on knowing that the only way to release the tension in my hips is to chip away at it everyday.

We like to believe there is something special within people who acquire exceptional skills, whereas, the truth is, the only thing “special” about them is their ability to practice. We can all enjoy whatever we desire if we are willing to put in the time and effort to cultivate that reality. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, not a set of magic wings.

Yoga Practice: Chaturanga Dandasana (four-limbed staff pose)

This pose is difficult. It takes time and effort to acquire the strength to maintain it properly.

  • Start from adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog pose)
  • Shift your weight forward to phalakasana (plank pose), arms vertical, wrists inline with shoulders
  • Use your core muscles to maintain this pose
  • Slowly, with control, lower down into chaturanga dandasana; elbows bent and pressed against torso, legs and torso a few inches above and parallel to the floor, quads turned slightly inward
  • Breathe deeply and calmly
  • Hold for a few breaths then release to the floor
  • If unable to come parallel to the floor come a low as you can and practice everyday until you are able to lower to only a few inches above the ground.

adho mukha svanasana

phalakasana

chaturanga dandasana

Namaste.

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