In Yoga Class::
I held my plank pose and heard the teacher say, “Look in the side mirror. Are your hips higher than your spine or sinking down low? If so, readjust yourself so that you are in one straight line.”
At first I think, “Of course I am in a straight line. I’ve done 100s of plank poses.” I look in the mirror and am shocked to see my hips lifted high in the air.
I begin to listen to the teacher with a beginner’s mind. I listen and make micro-adjustments and then I look in the mirror and there I am- in one straight plank. My core is now shaking. I want to get out of it. I stay and breathe. I keep breathing and then I begin to find peace within the shaking. It begins to feel good for my joints and my whole body. I am in alignment.
This is how to do plank. I am getting stronger in the pose. I can feel it.
In the remainder of class I listen to the teacher and I repeat my plank. I rest when I need to rest, rather than pushing myself into a misaligned pose. When I finish class, I feel a great sense of vibrancy and my body feels strong.
The Pose in Practice::
Plank pose requires a great deal of strength, especially from our core. We need to align our wrists under our shoulders and our hips in one straight line. When we don’t use our core muscles we get out of alignment and strain our shoulders, upper back, and neck.
In the heat of a practice, sometimes it has felt easier to subconsciously lie to myself and say “I am doing the pose right!” I get out of alignment first in my plank pose and then it starts to snowball in my downward dog and then into my forward fold. Pretty soon, my entire sequence is being practiced out of alignment! The one choice to get out of alignment ends up putting stress on my whole body and hurting me ultimately.
Off the Mat::
I reflected on the ways that this translates off the mat and into my life. Is there another area in my life where I am out of alignment and not living in integrity with my highest good?
I let this inquiry sit with me for a while. The response to this does not restrict me or hold me back. It frees me.
The awareness frees me to new possibilities of living in greater alignment in all areas in my life and greater integrity with myself. By being honest with myself and getting aligned in my life, I am creating freedom to live a more integrated, fulfilling, and blossoming life.
Reflection for You::
Are there any areas in your life where you could become more aligned?
I trust that as you honestly align more and more in your yoga practice and in your life, that you will blossom to a greater sense of joy, integration, and freedom within yourself.
With love and trust,