At war with ourselves

A beginner with the flexibility of an ironing board may bend forward twenty degrees, and there it is, the sensation that says,

That’s it, I’m stuck.

He feels a tightness, a constriction, and an uncomfortable resistance in that moment. The most advanced hatha yogi trying to fold forward also hits that edge, and the physical sensation is exactly the same.

The beginner looks at the advanced student and believes his adept comrade is having a different and undoubtedly better experience, but in truth they are having the same experience. The only differrerences are the place where the experience occurs and the choice in the response.

The apparent beginner can have an advancd  response: listening, accepting, inquiring in to the nature of this edge of resistance. The seemingly advanced practitioner can have a beginner’s response: refusing, deriding, forcing, or injuring.

As long as we are tyrannized by an ideal of perfection we will always be at war with ourselves.

-Donna Farhi, Bringing Yoga to Life

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