Dear eka pada sirsasana

Dear Eka pada sirsasana, Wow. It's been approximately 9 months since I met you. Our journey has been rocky. I loved and hated you, and at a point I avoided you, but now I am accepting and acknowledging you.

At first I was both frightened of and curious about you. Frightened because of your intimidating appearance--tough and unyielding. Curious because underneath your impossible appearance, there seemed to be a quality of softness in you. A quality that I seek to find and know.

You are selective when it comes to choosing your friends. You favor those with incredibly open hips. Unfortunately, I wasn't those lucky few. My tight hips from years of running, volleyball, and badminton prevented me from entering the asana with grace and ease. I was trying so hard to be comfortable that I actually strained my back. Yes, ironic isn't it? So I had to stay away from you for a little while. When I finally returned after 4 months, I also got to meet your relatives, Dwi pada sirsasana and Yoganidrasana. Like you, they did not treat me so kindly at first, and soon after I had met them I strained my sacrum region. Again I had to back off from your family for a good 2 months or so.

Now, 9 months later, I finally understand you. You are not mean and you are not a bully. It is merely your way of teaching us. My journey with you has been full of humbling moments. You were being hard on me because without these hardships, I would not have learned the beauty of this asana and learned how to surrender to you. You helped keep my ego in check. I am still trying to be more comfortable with this asana, but I have come to realize that the more I try the further away I slip. It is those days when I surrender myself entirely to my practice without any thoughts or goals that I become closer to you.

You still scare me a little, but not as much as before. I actually think you may be warming up to me, and I to you. Instead of feeling uncomfortable, rigid, and unstable, I am beginning to feel more at ease. Because of you, I have learned so much more about my body and myself. I have learned how not to be frustrated simply because I cannot achieve this asana by a deadline I gave myself (yoga asana practice does not happen this way!). I have learned how to be in this posture without posing harm on my emotional and physical body. Most importantly, I have learned to surrender and just be.

So, thank you for those hard times. I stumbled over them, made mistakes, but in the end I stood up again, wiser than before. Who knows when I will actually be 100% comfortable in this posture. Maybe not in this lifetime. Maybe never. But it's the persistent practice, abhyasa, that matters. Things happen when you are true and dedicated to your practice. Asana only comprises of 1 of the 8 limbs anyway. And after all, "practice, and all is coming," right? :-)

Sincerely, Elaine