Intention is everything. I know you’ve heard that before, but I really mean it. Just think of it, and it will happen!
I really believe that when you set a mental goal for yourself, subconsciously you will do what needs to be done to achieve that goal. Even if you aren’t thinking about it every second of every day, you are still somehow working towards it. That’s why I think you get benefits by just THINKING about yourself in a posture. Thinking about your leg kicking out in standing head to knee. Thinking about getting your body higher off the floor in the air in full locust pose. Thinking about getting your leg wrapped around in eagle. In standing head to knee, you will think about what it’s going to take to get your leg kicked out and to stay there. Then the next time you come to class, you will try what you thought about. You don’t have to think deeply about it, just think of it from time to time. In full locust pose, you can think about how much body you have on the floor, and think about what you can do to get a hairs width more off the floor. You don’t have to do anything crazy, maybe just contract this muscle or that muscle a little more. Try it out and see.
The posture is a continuum. There’s no definite posture. The posture is the entry, the falling out, the exit, the vision you have for yourself, the space that is not the posture (good one, eh?), and the posture that is your deepest FOR YOU FOR THAT DAY FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME. Trying the right way is the posture. Everything is the posture.
Using mental determination is how I got my leg wrapped in eagle. My foot was far far farrrrr away from my calf muscle (like in Never Ever Land). Pretty convinced it would never get wrapped. The thing is, I was right. It was never going to get wrapped, because that is how I thought about the posture. I never made very much improvement because I always settled on having an un-wrapped leg in that posture.
That is how I mentally SAW the posture for myself. In the posture I’d think “my thighs are too fat, my knees are too tight, and my stomach looks so smooshed in this posture I don’t even want to look at it in the mirror. Whatever I’m never going to get this. And also, I hate the next posture, too (standing head to knee). Don’t worry, Christina, it will be over soon.”
When I went to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, my view of MYSELF in this posture changed. I attribute this to Emmy Cleaves. If you practice Bikram Yoga, I highly encourage you to take a special trip to Los Angeles solely to take her class. There is no single word to describe how wonderful she is. She is a tough cookie, but you will get exactly what you need from her. Not what you want, what you need. Anyways, she told me specifically; “use your hands in eagle posture to get that leg behind your calf muscle, or you’re going to stand there for 20 years like a dummy and nothing is going to happen!” I took her advice, and 3 weeks later, I wrapped my leg. Granted I was doing doubles at the time, but I did it. She put it in perspective to me that I can wrap my leg. She gave me a two tools how to achieve that. 1) she gave me a physical piece of advice on how to do it, and 2) she set that intention in my mind, made me mentally SEE that for myself. Within those 3 weeks I started having DREAMS (subconsciously thinking about it!) about wrapping my leg in eagle. One time, not kidding, I had a dream I was standing in a grassy, flower-filled field in MY perfect eagle posture and someone playing a harp in the background. LOL I know dreams at TT are weird. I also started having dreams I could sit in lotus. I tried it one day, and I did it!
Intention is everything.
I started having dreams about being in full camel, and I am SO excited! You could imagine why 🙂
“If you’re thinking about it, you’re doing it”
I often say (in wind removing pose, to be exact) – if you think it (touching your knee to your shoulder) can’t happen, then you’re probably right. If you think in will happen then use your extra bicep strength to pull down harder! 1) thinking about it, 2) doing what you need to do to DO IT!
Don’t give up on yourself (I say that a lot too, lol). Seriously. Just think about it. As Mary Jarvis says, “you’re on your way.”
Eagle Pose – took 2 years to get my right leg wrapped. Still working on my left! It’s a start. Always room for improvement.