Our teacher did a fun thing in class today. We had three students with birthdays in class and she asked each of them to name their favorite posture. One chose Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose, one liked Standing Head to Knee, and the other picked Balancing Stick. None of us knew why the teacher was asking, but we soon found out. A third set of their favorite postures! It was challenging, but fun, and singing through the extra set gave the class a nice boost of energy and playfulness. But it also got me thinking, what is my favorite Bikram Yoga posture?
At first I hadn’t realized the teacher was only asking the people with birthdays, so I started thinking about how I would answer the question. My mind went blank. I always say my favorite is Triangle Pose, but sometimes my favorite is standing Head To Knee, and other times it is Toe Stand, and after a few weeks off from class, it is definitely Savasna. My favorite posture changes based on what I happen to be working on at the moment, or where I am feeling strongest, or where I have had recent improvement.
When we are about to start a posture I like, I often smile and think positive things about what is coming next. I am extra focused on entering, executing, and exiting the posture as cleanly as I can. I want to enjoy the posture, because it is my “favorite.” But maybe every posture should be your favorite as you are doing it, even those that you dread.
What if I told myself Camel Pose was my favorite, or Full Locust Pose? These are always tough postures for me, but if they were my “favorite,” would I enter, execute, and exit these postures more serenely and with better alignment? Would my form and depth in these poses improve? Maybe they would become favorites in reality. It is definitely worth a try.
This got me thinking, as it usually does, about how yoga provides a mirror into your life. I always seem to enjoy a dinner out at my favorite restaurant more than a meal elsewhere and prefer meeting with a favorite co-worker more than with others on my team. This is natural, but if I could approach all of these things like a favorite, perhaps my enjoyment and execution would improve. I know I could definitely use a more positive approach to cooking and other household chores. Perhaps my work in yoga class can carry over into my life once again.
Readers, do you have a favorite posture?