On being humble(d)

Yoga practice is a funny thing. Like many aspects of our lives, practice brings comfort and skill. But, we tend to practice in a certain way, and become very skilled in that particular style. We are - quite unintentionally - very attached.

As regular readers know, I am primarily a practitioner of Forrest, or Forrest-inspired, yoga.

I'm on Day 10 of a 15-day business trip, so this morning, I took a Baptiste class.

And it kicked my ass. Literally. Practicing in 100 degree heat versus my usual 85 felt like doing yoga on the sun. The starting pose was "fire squat" - translated into chair pose on the wall. I smiled - we do this in Forrest - and was feeling fairly confident. Until we held it for five minutes. Holy thighs.

This might beg the question - How can you practice every day - and get your asana kicked on a random Sunday?

The answer is simple: changing up our practice changes the muscles we use - in our body and our mind.

I think today's class was more humbling because I realized that the changes in heat and sequencing were affecting my ability to calm my mind. There was more chatter.

But one of the greatest truths of yoga for me is that staying with myself - hanging in there - is the best path. And so eventually, as we spent our tenth minute in Frog pose at the end of class, I was able to surrender.

Yoga humbles our bodies - and our egos.