"Any perception can connect us to reality properly and fully. What we see doesn’t have to be pretty, particularly; we can appreciate anything that exists. There is some principle of magic in everything, some living quality. Something living, something real, is taking place in everything."
~ “Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior” Chogyam Trungpa
Today's class brought me into the reality of my practice... I am not very good. As we moved from Warrior I and then to Warrior II I felt myself sway and crumple. My knees today seemed to protest my every move. It was a fight between the three of us, they wanting to quit after only a few seconds in each pose that required them to bend, that is until we came to Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose). I am not sure what I look like in this pose, the instructor seemed to think I was doing it right since she did not correct my form or posture and it fact said it looked good, but all I know is today this posture felt right. My knees were not complaining, my normally tight hamstrings felt just a little looser and I was experiencing a fantastic stretch in my right and then left side body. As I held Utthita Trikonasana I began to think about my practice over the last few months and how I have come to appreciate my forms just for what they are and slowly stopped kicking myself when I could not quite get there with a pose. When I first began doing yoga I would laugh self-consciously at myself often and now I still laugh often but this time it is more joyous. I have learned to find humor in my practice and it is that humor that has led me to feel the reality of my practice... I do what I can and what I can do sometimes feels magical. As I continue my weekly yoga practice I look forward to looking back over my early days of reflection on my poses, well it may not seem very pretty right now I am sure later on down the road it will be a fantastic progression of skill that just exists as a part of my yoga history.
How to do Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle):
You will want to start off in Tadasana then either toe heal your feet out into a wide straddle or you can jump your feet out (you should have them about 3 ½ to 4 feet apart). Raise your arms so the are parallel to the floor with your shoulder blades wide and your palms down. Next you will turn your left foot in slightly to the right and your right foot out about 90 degrees. Align the heals and turn your right thigh outward so the the right knee cap is in line with the right ankle. You will next exhale and extend your torso to the right then bend at the hip joint. Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle or the foot (whatever feels right to you). Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling, make sure it is in line with your shoulder. You can keep your head in the neutral position or gaze up at your thumb. Switch and do the same on the other side. If you want to see a video of it check out YogaJournal's Extended Triangle Pose video.
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