Is this one of those days when you get off the bed and you realize your body is not responding and you know already you will have a tough time on the yoga mat? Or is it one of those days when you get on the mat and than you realize you’re a lot stiffer than usual?

The latter is what happened to me this mid-week. Since I got to Rishikesh exactly one month ago, the weather has been changing a lot: very hot and humid at the beginning of October, it is now cold and windy during the night though nicely dry and sunny during the day.

What the weather has to do with it?

elephantMany of you might have experienced how the body changes according to the weather temperature and the degree of humidity. So, these days I wake up and my body feels soooo stiff! And when I get on the mat, it takes me all 10 surya namaskaras (sun salutations) to get my body kind of warm. Being sweated and already dripping at the end of the first surya namaskara is now just a memory of my first days here :-/

During my yoga practice on Thursday, I went through all the ashtanga standing poses and when sitting in dandasana I strangely felt my body was not warm yet. There I started having a low…

‘How can I get through my second series teacher training being so stiff?’ I started asking myself.

As my mind started lingering on it, I kept loosing my intimate connection with the asana practice and started feeling lower and lower.

So I had to make an effort to be present, at least trying to see the process going on on my mind, recognize it… and while looking at it, I decided I would not give up on him! That was thanks to Sunil’s words from the previous day yoga philosophy lecture that came back to rescue myself: ‘Despair caused by failure is one of the 9 obstacles on the path of yoga. Be aware of it!’ referring to Patanjali Yoga Sutra 1.30. And than the solution as reported in Patanjali Yoga Sutra 1.32: ‘Those obstacles can be removed by the practice of concentration upon a single truth.’

So I decided to come back to being present on the mat, on that moment, no despair for what still had to come, facing the reality of that very morning: my body was stiff, that was a fact. ‘How can I still work on my asana practice?’ I asked myself. Than I changed my focus and started working on strenght instead of looking for a flexibility that was not there.

When my focus shifted, my practice changed dramatically. I was no longer feeling a victim of external circumstances, I was doing something usuful to myself. And that brought me all the way through my practice up to kapotasana, I took the time to work on my backbendings and when I was done with the closing sequence, instead of moving to shavasana, I felt so reinvigorated that I decided to work on a few postures from second series I hadn’t been through yet and… after a few tries, I got mayurasana for the first time ever!

I know all happened because my attitude changed… and this is true on the yoga mat as well as off of the mat, in the rest of our life. Often obstacles are there and can’t get removed by our wish, but we have many other ways to go. Just don’t allow those obstacles to make you blind, so that you can still see the beauty in all the rest…

Have you ever faced similar moments? How do you have overcome them? Would love to hear that!

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