Challenging Yoga Poses and How to Overcome Them
Challenges and obstacles are present in our daily lives, being on our jobs, our home, family duties or on our yoga mat. Mostly I see two options when we face obstacles in our lives: we can face it or we can ignore running way. When we run away is because of a lack of trust that everything will be fine, we let fears overcome our capacity of will and power and slowly we start programming our minds to be pessimistic. Many of us suffer from fear of failure and of being rejected, resulting in feeling stuck in many aspects of our lives.
On the other side facing our challenges and our inner insecurities helps to expand our notion of psychological, emotional and mental boundaries. It helps us to see there is nothing wrong in trying, failing and learning and that sometimes success it’s on the next step and we just need to have a little faith to continue on.
The Yoga practice of Asanas gives an opportunity to explore our inner barriers. The style of Yoga I practice is Ashtanga Yoga, which can be very demanding physically with the purpose of expanding the boundaries of what is possible on a physical level and then breaking old emotional, mental and psychological patterns.
One of the lessons on the yoga mat is to try our best but letting go of the results. This gives us the opportunity to let go of perfectionism, the idea of failure and rejection. Again, there is nothing wrong in trying, failing and trying again. There is only learning about how your body works from the outside all the way into the heart.
I will share with you the most challenge poses for me and how to overcome them!
This arm balance took lots of practice, time and patience to happen. First I felt glued to the floor and then it came to the worry of falling on my face. Most of our worries actually never happen, but I did put some pillows and blankets in front of me to practice this pose. I have never fallen on my face practicing Bakasana but it gave me a sense of safety while practicing alone. If you get sweaty during the practice and find it difficult to keep the knees up I recommend using leggings, my Liquido leggings are super comfy but also gives me some grip so my knees stay easily locked onto my arms. If you want an extra challenge try with shorts! Liquido Active has a super cute collection!
2- Pincha Mayurasana
This forearm balance pose is very challenging. It took me a few years to find some control. The fear of falling over was a big deal, so in the beginning I used the wall just to feel myself in the pose. If you have a friend around, you can ask him or her to spot you. After some time I had to let it go of the wall even if that means falling over. Breaking the walls of fear brings feelings of freedom and liberation. This pose resembles the feathers of a peacock. If this is your struggle pose try wearing Liquido Patterned Leggings Rainbow Feathers for an extra motivation ;)
3- Urdhva Dhanurasana
Backbends require a steady balance between strength and flexibility in the body. Sometimes those qualities are hard to access alone and there is no shame in asking for help. Very often it takes a good teacher to show us the way and to avoid pain and injury. Backbends highly stimulate our nervous system and it can make us feel anxiety, fear and intense emotions. Having a teacher to guide us into the pose and remind us to breath calm and deep it’s a great help to overcome this challenging pose.
This pose can be very challenging for many. If you have tight hips or pain on the knees my advice is to modify this pose and patiently slowly work on externally rotating your hip joints. This pose can teach great humility, patience, acceptance and self-love.
Padmasana is known as Lotus Flower and the meaning of the lotus flower comes from the way the flower grows in nature. It starts off as a bud underwater, often in murky ponds, and grows until it emerges from the muddy waters in a beautiful blooming flower. Let yourself bloom slowly like the Lotus flower.
5- Eka Pada Sirsasana
Leg behind the head posture is definitely a challenging pose that requires a deep external rotation of the hip joints. This pose may seem to be inaccessible but even the modifications hold lots of benefits as deep releasing of emotions from the body. There are some factors that may help you to make easier into this challenging pose as: practicing long holds on pigeon pose, trying to seat less on chairs and more on the floor, exchange office chair to pilates ball and making sure to stretch the hips after each time you do exercises as running, hiking or weight lifting.
We all have the inner power and will to face obstacles in our daily lives. You just need to tune in to your inner guidance and wisdom to take you beyond what you think it’s your limit and eventually getting in touch with this part of your being which is limitless, powerful and confident.
About the Author:
Bianca expresses her love of life through arts and movement. She studied dance in Brazil, jewelry design in Uruguay, and also received a bachelor's degree in tourism. She took her first yoga class at age 18 and felt a deep connection within body and soul. In an opportunity to combine travels and dance, she worked as a dancer for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey's Circus, where she also had an introduction to aerial arts. She believes that the seed of yoga, which had been planted in her heart years before, started to grow in its own time. She decided to take her practice into a deeper level and completed the 200 hours teacher training at Neighborhood Yoga (a Yoga Alliance registered school) in Boone, NC. During this training, the Ashtanga method was unveiled to her and became part of her being and daily practice. She practices Ashtanga as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and who's grandson Sharath Jois and his mother Saraswathi, from India, serves as Bianca's primary teacher. In the west, she practices under the guidance of various certified Ashtanga teachers. Her teaching style is very creative, and is influenced by her background and personal practice. Believing she is an eternal student of yoga, her joy is to share all the benefits this practice can bring to people's lives on and off the mat. Bianca gives classes and workshops all over the world. You can find her on:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/