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Yoga Novice – Trying to be a Downward Facing Dog

By David Gelfand

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Aug 11, 2014 10:00:00 AM

yoga-studio-preparationLet’s take a look back at one of my first posts about being introduced to yoga and trying to master the Crow pose. It hasn’t been an easy journey, to say the least. I’ve been going to yoga on and off for about a year and while I haven’t become the master I thought I would be at this point, I’ve definitely learned something new each time I practice.

I have to confess – it’d been some time since I had been on the yoga mat when I decided to creep back into the world of asanas. You know, when they say “Practice makes progress” I really believe that this holds true in yoga.  

Nevertheless, I was back at it. Chest held high, t-shirt tucked in nicely, beaming smiles all around the room. I laid out my mat in the back right corner of the room (I prefer to not boast my tumbles and falls to everyone around) and began to stretch it out. Before I could engage in some friendly conversation, we’re hitting the mat.

downward-dog-poseLike I said, it had been some time. Many of the poses and stances were unfamiliar and others just plain impossible at this time. But there was one that I remembered quite well. This particular position posed the greatest threat to my sanity and stature in that moment. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about the coveted Downward Dog.

Let me put it this way – when a dog (like a real canine) goes “downward” in that stretch, it seems almost pleasant. However, pleasant isn’t the word that came to mind this time around.

With feet and hands firmly planted into the mat, the instructor reminded the class to, “Enjoy the Downward Dog. This is your resting place. Your home base.”

yoga-with-your-dog“Resting place?!” I thought. Child’s pose – now that’s a pose I can enjoy! Happy baby – yes, definitely!

My shoulders burned, butt held high, tshirt now swinging above my belly and covering my face. I can’t see, I see sweat beads dripping like rain below me, and I can’t wait to move on. This can’t be right, I thought.

I have heard the saying, “No pain, no gain.” Maybe that’s true here? Maybe my shoulders burning and aching up is a good thing. No matter what it is, I’ll need some more practice. No questions there.

What about the rest of you Juilers and yogis? Do you really find solace in the Downward Dog?

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Topics: Yoga

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