I was recently inspired to spend more time working on Forearm Balance and Scorpion pose. I haven’t posted in a while, but I have been working on it sporadically.
I am definitely getting close. I also feel okay about not getting it overnight. If you do a Google image search for “Most Difficult Yoga Pose,” you will pull up a page full of Black Crow (already nailed), Eka Pada Kundiyasana and Eight Angle Pose (check and check), Firefly (easy-peasy), Dragonfly (getting there), and dozens of pictures of Forearm/Scorpion Pose.
It’s really not the end of the world that I haven’t nailed down one of the “Most Difficult” yoga poses in under a year of trying. In fact, it would be the end of the world if I did! I plan to practice DDP Yoga for the rest of my life, and having challenges to work toward keeps me motivated. If I mastered all the most challenging poses too quickly, I’d risk having nowhere else to go*.
I have learned a number of poses since starting DDP Yoga that I was never able to master (or do with modifications) before. Nowadays, I sometimes do them all just to take stock of what I have learned, and to see where I need more practice. Here is one of these practice sessions:
I have never, ever done a pull-up in my life. Not in gym class, not during the many opportunities I had during my P90X days, never. Pull-ups are my Everest, the M. Bison (now that’s a timely reference!) of things I “know” I can’t do. I randomly* decided to try one this evening after my run (hence the sweat).
*The long form of that story is that I had just done 4 miles for my half-marathon training program. I was planning to do the DDP Yoga Energy or Fat Burner that I usually do as the stretch and strengthen part of the program, but I was too tired (I’m bereft of calories thanks to my decision to do the Dr. Oz Toxin Cleanse). I read the Hal Higdon training site to see exactly what he meant by “Stretch and Strengthen”, and it said “some” pull-ups or push-ups. Score! I can get home free with about five minutes of work instead of twenty-five! Reading the word “pull-ups” gave me a flash of inspiration to dig out my poor pull-up bar and see if I could actually do one, given DDP Yoga has allowed me to do so many things that were out of my reach for the 33 years prior to starting DDPY!
We are not all at different points on the same path;
we are each alone on our own path.
I articulated that thought when I was talking to someone about their problem with doing push-ups. However, it’s very easy to explain the futility of comparing your success to that of others when looking at someone else’s yoga journey.
Maybe less than twelve hours elapsed between that conversation and me scrolling through movies and pictures of other teamDDPyoga.com members who can do Scorpion Pose or Forearm Balance wondering why I couldn’t do it. I let in all sorts of entitled thoughts about it not being fair, or how I wish I could get it. But those are not productive thoughts.
I did Forearm Balance using a yoga strap for the first time two nights ago. Last night I tried again, and expected to be able to do it, because I had been told by someone (who was being encouraging) that once I had it, I’d be able to do it from then on. But last night, I didn’t approach it with the right mentality. I was bickering with my husband, I came to it expecting that it would happen for me, and I gave myself about 5 minutes to try it. It didn’t happen, and that’s a good thing, because if I had gotten it, that would have been a bad lesson about entitlement for me to have.
It’s okay that many members of teamDDPyoga.com can get Forearm Balance without yoga props, and hold it for up to 70 seconds when I can’t. That’s where they are on their path. Forearm balance, Scorpion pose, and psycho push-ups might be farther along my path. Other achievements will be nearer on my path. The order in which I master things will be different to another person, so having expectations of what I should be able to do based on someone else’s achievements is fruitless. Either way, the only way I will move along my path is to focus on it, and to put in the work and effort it takes to move along it.
After I was done on the elliptical, I spent some time on Forearm Balance as part of this month’s Warriors in Training blog. In particular, I focused on DDP’s advice he gave me about doing psycho push-ups (not there yet, but I am closer with this evening’s progress), and Kevin Russo’s advice and forearm balance video. Obviously, this is all superimposed onto the base of the forearm balance instruction from the Extreme Psycho Workout.
Here’s what happened:
I almost wrote that I finally got it. But I would only use the word “finally” because I practically have less patience than my 2-year-old. But as I was about to type that, it occurred to me that I have only been doing DDP Yoga for 4 months, and I didn’t even start my Scorpion Pose/Forearm Balance on Day 1 at that! That is a tremendous advance in such a short period of time (the frame of reference being the years I spent doing conventional yoga an accomplishing nothing!).
Before I discovered DDP Yoga (which allowed me to drop 37 lbs in 3 months, fit into a size 10, and run 5Ks), I used to do P90X yoga, the only part of P90X my knees were able to continue with. In this program, there is a 60-second period to try Crow (it’s called Crane in P90X). I could never get into Crow back then; I didn’t get it until I started doing DDP Yoga. Ever since DDP Yoga taught me how to do Crow, it has been my ambition to hold it for 60 seconds. That was the last thing in the P90X yoga program I was unable to do, so I feel I could truly move on once I mastered it.
I’m part of a group called “Warriors in Training” on teamDDPyoga.com, and we have a challenge this month to “Bust A Move”. The challenge is to pick some yoga poses, and spend the month of August nailing them. Of course, my 60 second Crow challenge popped into my head, so I picked that along with Forearm Balance, Slow-Burn Push-ups and Plank. My first attempt at holding Crow for 60 seconds saw me get to within 5 seconds of my goal.