Lotus Pose and how some time on the mat can turn your struggles into love
There are things in my yoga practice I struggle with tremendously. Padasana or Lotus Pose is one of them. I have very little outward rotation in my right hip, which makes it seem almost impossible to get into this pose. Throughout my whole dancer’s life I have worked “hard”on my hip rotation. In ballet everything is about “turning out” and “en dehors”, and believe me, I still keep dreaming about how easy life could be with widely open hips. I practise with and for my body every day, but there are things my body just won’t do. For a dancer I have a very difficult body, not ideal at all. There were many times when I asked myself, why did my soul have to choode such a difficult body to become a dancer? It became even more “difficult “in 2008 when I almost lost my left foot.
Back then I caught a really serious infection on my left foot, whilst traveling in Nepal. Long story short, this infection nearly could have killed my foot, or even leg. Luckily surgery came at the right time, saving my foot early enough from the rapid succession that this infection could have caused. Now a big scarve on the back of my left foot and one underneath my ankle joint reminds me day by day of the second chance life gave me to dance, to move and to walk FREELY. Before this happened, I thought I would die if I can’t dance. But the experience in the wheelchair made me realize and be present with all the possible ways we can be in and with our body. This was a turning point for me.
Yoga & Ballet is not easy for me. Some things my body can do easily, but many of the things require lots of practise, time and devotion. I practise as much as I possibly can. I make myself connect with my body every day, listen to it, be present with it, read it’s signs, breath with it, give it the space and nourishment that it requires, everything I can to continue a loving relationship with it. Even when I don’t feel like practising, I make myself do it, because I know how good I will feel and how happy my body will be, after we have spent some time together. That’s what keeps me do it, every damn day. Some days it feels light and easy to move, some days it’s hard. On good days I am so grateful for the experience with my left foot and that I still have a this foot, but I have bad days, where I just want my old flexible foot back, which is still very stiff and immobile from the scarve.
But some days magical things happen like today when I managed to get into the Lotus pose, these moments just suddenly happen. Other people just plop into the Lotus pose while they are sleeping, I need lots of stretching before I can even bring my left leg up, and I need a strap to do it. My alignment is far from perfect, because of the asymmetry of my hip flexors, but it felt so good to finally sit in this pose. I had to laugh out laud, just out of pure relief, releasing all of that tension that was sitting in my hips and upper legs.
Moments like this are such a great reminder that we are always on the journey, always learning, always growing and evolving, both on the mat and in life. And on some days things can happen, that we never thought could be possible.
Never give up, just keep doing it. Breathe through the painful moments, and never compare yourself to others. Get inspired by those who are a step ahead, but never give up because you are not where they are. Go from where you are today, with what you have today and start with that, gently, lovingly and mindfully. Keep your vision and the dream that sits in YOUR heart, not that of other people.
This is why I practice day by day. Open your heart and everything will unfold when the time is right. Everything you do is important and valuable for your growth, on and off the mat, even in the difficult moments.
And here is a little dance in my little Lotus Pose, early in the morning, raw and real, with unbrushed hair.
Namaste, have a wonderful day, as always I am happy to read your comments and feedback!