What To Do When Something Asks Much of Us
There is a yoga pose I've been trying to do for weeks.
It goes right at my tightest joints and ligaments. Class after class, I twist and struggle my way into it. Then pray for the moment when I'm not holding it. It asks a lot of my body and mind.
Today, as before, I move reluctantly into the pose. It pulls my hips open, exerts my knees. I begin my usual prayer for this to be over. When finally I realize: I could ask for help.
My ego rockets up: You can't ask for help! You should be able to do this. Figure it out, suck it up.
I disregard it; weeks of sucking it up and nothing to show for it except more prayers to be done with it. I lean towards the instructor. This is a little hard for me, I say. Can you help?
He comes right to the side of my mat, shows me a few alternatives. I slide into the pose. It's hard, but I'm supported now. And the pose feels powerful.
As I hold it, I'm reminded of something I've known, forgotten, known, forgotten over the years: often, the harder something is for us, the greater our need to ask for support.
All this time, there was a better path forward. And my ego was blocking it. With one call for support, though, my body arrived in the pose like it had been waiting for it. It still isn't easy to do; but it's a good challenge now, not a miserable slog.
I hold the pose. I'm not praying for anything. Just aware that when something asks much of us, it's often good to ask support of others.