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And… the yoga life lessons continue. Recently I’ve been wanting to do Camel Pose. Essentially… you’re standing on your knees… doing a back bend… and grabbing your ankles with your hands. Yes… as I describe it… I can see why anyone would want to do that! But honestly… it’s a great pose to open your chest and heart… and that backbend feels awesome… but I can’t quite make it happen.

I can do a half camel… which is to reach back with one hand and grab one ankle… while the other arm is raised to the sky. I still get a backbend and a chest and heart opener… but still… I want it all. (Remember that perfection theme we had the other day? Yeah… it’s still around.) So… I’ve assumed that I have one of two problems… or both… either I’m just too afraid to totally let go and go all the way back… (which I’m sure will show up as another post soon)… or… my low back is not flexible enough to get a deep enough bend.

So… a couple of weeks ago… I took a private yoga class… and asked the instructor to help me get into full camel. As she guided me towards it… she said it was my shoulders that were holding me back. Hmmm… And… she gave me some… gentle… shoulder exercises to increase their flexibility. Gentle because she’s a smart teacher and because I’ve had frozen shoulders in the past.

Anyway… long story short… I came home and began to vigorously work my shoulders. In fact… much too vigorously… and now… my right shoulder and arm aren’t happy. Actually they are about as cranky as the cats are when I run out of tuna… and that’s cranky!

Now… I’m resting my shoulders… as I listen to Bertha… lecture me on how this reminds her of my life… of all the times that I jump in too fast and furious… and push too hard… and don’t get the results that I want… in fact… I often make mistakes and have to correct them before I can start over again. She did mention an unfortunate relationship as an example… but we don’t need to trash that out again.

Bertha says that I was doing just fine in half camel… I was slowly and gently releasing my shoulders and back… and yes… I was even gaining more confidence in letting go and leaning back… and in time… I would possibly have found myself in full camel. Now… I have to wait a bit before I can try again.

Don’t get me wrong… Bertha’s not advocating never trying new… or… challenging… yoga poses… or life experiences. No… not at all… she’s only reminding me that having patience and taking baby steps… is often the best way to go.

Okay… I guess she about summed that up. How about you? How do you manage challenges? Bertha’s sitting in the comfy chair and would love to read your comments below.

Jane