When I hear the request “stretch to your limits”, I remember the time when I started practicing yoga. Long before I realize the depth that the yoga practice can have, I used to think that it was just about flexibility. So, I was pressuring my body in every way to accomplish the “perfect” asana, something that doesn’t exist, because there are no “perfect” bodies. And, finally, I had many painful lessons while I couldn’t understand the true essence of union. definitely, I was feeling “high” – like many people feel – after overcoming my physical and, sometimes, my mental limits, but I didn’t have the power nor the base to maintain this feeling outside of my practice.
Now, after a long time and many humiliating experiences, I approach asanas in a different way. I pay attention and focus equally to my base and to my strength that is required in order to extend enough. I believe that when it is practiced with full awareness, Upavista Konasasana can teach us how to reach our limit through strength and grounding, in order, the feeling of extension overcome the mat and get into our lives.
Upavista Konasana is challenging us to “lengthen” as much as we can, respecting our body limits. Two experiences that can cooperate, but it is hard to accomplish them at the same time. Often when we try to expand the limits of our experience, we push ourselves over the limits of intense and we reach the dangerous zone of pain beyond safe. We catch our toes easily at Upavista Konasana or bring our chest to the ground without supporting the movement with our torso, and as a result, our pelvis lifts from the floor. From an opinion, it maybe seems that we gain something, but if we want to experience the stability and the satisfaction, we shouldn’t lead ourselves there where there is no muscular control.
In order to explore our limits, and also to overcome them, we need to evolve a hard, but very effective ability to maintain our base very good rooted to the floor and connected to our core. Instead of moving forward in every cost, or coming out from the posture quickly, we can develop the strength of the torso and our connection with the floor. As we expand at this posture, such as in life, we can feel vulnerable and exposed. Instead of retreating scared, we can lead ourselves to stay at the moment and move at a slower pace. Then we can use this awareness in order to move from the strength of our torso, instead of falling at the front without control. This way we gain self-confidence and more will to open.
Maria Hrisoheraki, Certified Iyengar Yoga InstructorRead More About Maria Hrisoheraki:
Maria Hrisoheraki started practicing yoga as a teenager and for many years she explored some of the most famous systems in yoga: Sivananda, Satyananda, and Yoga Works. In 2002 she came across Iyengar Yoga and was hooked immediately.
Her first class made her feel like a total beginner, stiff and sore. But she kept going and today she is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, Intermediate Junior 3.
She keeps attending Iyengar yoga teacher training courses, to fulfill her constant need for better and deeper understanding in yoga, and frequently attends Iyengar Yoga seminars with world acclaimed teachers like Penny Chaplin, Eyal Shifroni, and Carrie Owerko.
Apart from teaching and learning, she has the opportunity to contact the world by sharing her thoughts about yoga. She is active in social media and blogger at the Greek branch of Huffington Post which is one of the biggest news organizations in the world. Also, she is a columnist at “NaturaNRG”, the leading health and wellness free-press magazine in Greece. She is the foundress and owner of Pure Yoga ( www.pureyoga.gr).
Translated by Marianna Thimiaki