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For some people, the joy of a pose emerges when the traditional, full expression of the pose is realized. The best part for these people is when they're 100% perpendicular to the ground in handstand, or when they're in the textbook perfect split.
For a while, I was the same. It didn't matter how I got there, just get me in the pose, you know? Hurry up and get there!
One of the things I have always loved about yoga is the lack of rules. There's no real right or wrong when it comes to a pose. I mean, sure, there are alignment cues to prevent injury, but apart from that, no one cares if your toes are pointed or not in handstand. There's no rule book that says the arm must be parallel to the floor in dancer's pose. To me, the freedom to interpret the full expression however one likes is just beautiful.
But, a confession. Most recently, I have fallen in love with something equally beautiful: the space in-between.
In recent months, the space in-between the starting point and the full expression has become the good stuff for me. I've discovered that's where I can make it mine. That's where I can twist and turn and climb my way toward my interpretation of the full expression. That's where I get lost, where thoughts fizzle out, and I'm breathing and sweating and have laser focus yet am so completely zoned out.
I love exploring the space in-between. I love dragging my toes and pressing up to headstand. I love playing with transitions and making my practice feel more like a dance. I love those shaky moments when the strength is not quite there, and I have to focus extra hard on the little things to get just a taste of the full expression before toppling over. I love the uncertainty in it, the delicious imperfection of what happens in the space in-between, and the thrill of what might be. In discovering this new side of my practice, I feel like I've fallen in love with yoga all over again. It just makes me feel good, and really, that's what it's all about, no?
Let's talk What's your favorite part of the yoga practice?
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