What is the mental threshold? I find that mostly this is the point where you feel like giving up. I have found myself at this threshold so many times, I can’t even count. It’s the breaking point but it’s also the point where you get to see what you’re made of. Either you’re going to give up and allow yourself to be beat OR you’re going to get back up and practice more, gain strength, and try try again.
As a new yoga teacher myself, I feel like the essentials to teaching a beginner student across the mental threshold for a difficult posture often times come from our own practices. I remember being that new student and not knowing even the basic postures and having to peak at the person next to me or in front of me to make sure I was at least kinda-sorta making the same shape. I remember that first time I attempted crow pose and I remember the first time I lifted that second toe off the ground and was floating for about 3 seconds before becoming tired. I remember being talked through more difficult postures after that and even now, I still feel like my own practice is essential to helping someone else learn even the more basic postures.
Mostly though, just sit back and enjoy the journey. Yoga isn’t just about the posture and it certainly isn’t about doing all the fancy ones you see in pictures. It’s not about being perfect or pushing yourself to limits that are beyond your capabilities (this is how you get hurt). Yoga is about a personal journey, not about the goal. As Baron states, “Yoga is a journey with no end…ultimately there is no arriving.” You can’t force it so all you can do is enjoy the time you have on this particular journey.
Try not to get caught up in the physical poses that you’re not able to do at the moment. Use the opportunity to listen and learn from your body. Understand your mental dialogue and see where you can improve. Baron states, “The poses then become experiments to reveal and work through the resistances that block you, so you can ultimately move through them.” Take chances, be bold, push yourself, try new things, but don’t be unsafe and certainly don’t force it. Just breathe and let it be.
Much love, B.