Are you sitting pretty, or would you like some more comfort in your life? Would you like to change up the furniture?
When we sit down we tend to relax into life, whether it be a comfy lounge to watch telly or a favourite chair to read a book. Or maybe we’re sitting at a computer desk and its work (or writing for love) and we get so focused we forget to get up and stretch often enough so we get tight shoulders and a sore back.
Sometimes we use chairs as a crutch instead of standing up for ourselves. We settle in, rather than moving in new directions.
Whether for comfort or utility, chairs come in pretty handy in life, and I have my sights on getting a new one, a green (the colour of the heart chakra) armchair of some description for under the bay window in our bedroom/office, the sort I can sit back in and read or write or just BE.
But this week, during intensive yoga training, I’ve been getting to know a different kind of chair.
Introducing Utkatasana – chair pose, otherwise known as AWKWARD pose.
Right now even taking a seat, when it’s a comfy chair or not, is difficult.
In four days I’ve done eight yoga classes (11 hours of yoga) – two classes a day during 11 hour days and my back and hips are aching. I’m officially SHITED (shattered but excited).
We’ve also been sitting on the yoga room floor for our lectures and group work with just a bolster cushion for comfort, so I’ve barely felt the bottom of a chair all week, which is probably also why my lower back is screaming. I’m not complaining (well I am), because I’m LOVING it, but it’s perhaps not surprising that I’m dreaming of big comfy chairs, soft and cocooning, the sort that I can nestle into and escape life.
But I digress – back to Uktasana.
As the above image shows, you take a seat – it’s just imaginary, so you are relying on your leg, core and back muscles to hold you up and it has to be in an AWKWARD position – you are not supposed to hover higher or come down lower where it feels more comfortable – the very idea is discomfort. And then you reach up on your tip-toes and lower down again, this time to bar-stool height (I’ve sat at a few in my time and believe me this one is not one you want to ‘sit at’ for too long). And then you bring your knees together, with heels still raised, and lower down as though you are sliding down a wall (there of course being no wall for support). And then you come back up, slowly, and your bum and thigh muscles groan and I know I’ve let a groan slip out my mouth too. All the while you hold your arms up, strong and forward at shoulder height, and they become leaden – a nice distraction for your screaming legs. And the object is to hold your spine straight, chest forward, heart open. Ah, and then the release.
Yoga postures are supposed to teach us something and Uktasana’s lesson is to not get too comfortable in life. It teaches us that we can not only stand on our own two feet, we can take a seat and get comfortable in our own skin, rather than relying on the ‘crutches’ of the chairs we seek out.
In the process we learn that sometimes we have to experience AWKWARD in order to be truly COMFORTABLE.
And that’s it from this SHITED yogi, who can only think of yoga wisdom this week and hasn’t had time to process the wisdom of Problogger but can only add to the wise words of Darren Rowse who said: ‘Take imperfect action‘ with the words: ‘even (and most especially) when it’s awkward.’ Go on, off your bum!
Linking up with Grace for another FYBF.
Tell me what is your perfect chair?
Namaste, Namaste, Namaste.