The not so perfect yoga pose


I am practicing Gardudasana (Eagle Pose).

Every week on social media I post a picture of me in a yoga pose and let my friends and followers know what my yoga theme is for the week.
Every week I have a theme in my classes. The theme is a focus of the class. It’s a full well-rounded practice with a point.
Sometimes I teach a type of pose (standing poses, twists, etc.) or a part of the body (neck, feet, hips, etc.) or it could be something I have noticed in my students’ bodies (recently I noticed a lot of hyperextension in elbows during Adho Mukha Svanasana [Downward Facing Dog]) or something in my own body (tight side body muscles) or what’s going on in the outside world: time change, changing of seasons, super moon, etc.

eage tries

My various attempts at Garudasana: Photo 1: Ugh! Camera too close. Photo 2: Falling out of pose. Photo 3: Not fully into pose when camera clicked. Photo 4: Ah, forget it!

I teach the same sequence for a week. It’s also the sequence I practice at home on my own mat.
A recent theme was the neck, which was brought back by popular demand and will be coming back again soon.
The pictured yoga pose I used was Garudasana (Eagle Pose), one of my least favorite balance poses.
A friend on Facebook said he was liking the picture “’cause I’ve done this pose and it’s damn hard.”
Most of the pictures I post on Facebook of me in yoga poses I am taking my self, with a timer on the camera.
I get the camera set up, set the timer, run over to the mat, get myself into the pose and hope to get into proper alignment and then click, click, click.
Sometimes it’s successful, other times I have to take the picture over and over. Maybe my hand is cut off, my alignment is not great, I didn’t get into the pose in time or I’m¬†falling out of the pose, among many other things that can happen.
Garudasana is not an easy pose. When I practice and teach it I take it step by step, making sure I am breathing and taking time to get my foot in the right place, sitting down a little, arms into the appropriate position for my body that day and work with the breath while I try to not fall over and maintain feeling rooted, grounded and stable while raising my elbows up to shoulder height and pressing them away while stretching the upper back and shoulders while also releasing tension in the neck.
I try to be an honest and genuine person and I am an honest and genuine yoga teacher. I let my students know what poses I am not a fan of, what poses are difficult for me and frankly, some I haven’t even attempted.
I used to put my yoga teachers on a pedestal. I figured they were some sort of higher being, more enlightened, I was in awe of them (I still am, but just in a different way).
But then I started hanging out with them. And news flash: they are just like you and me.
I am a regular person who loves practicing yoga and teaching yoga. But I haven’t perfected every (or really even any) yoga poses.
Yea, I have the tools to help myself in a situation with my breath. But I still get road rage, think people are idiots, drink beer, eat meat, say bad words (oh my!), fall out of yoga poses, sometimes not want to practice yoga, watch TV marathons, read trashy celebrity news, stuff myself with Doritos, etc.
I am a student of yoga and continue to take classes, research and read, take workshops and trainings. I learn from my students regularly and myself and have fun while doing it.
And sometimes I say shit as I fall out of Garudasana and decide a beer sounds a lot better than my yoga practice.