5 Ways to Embrace a Pose You Loathe

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I hate, hate, HATE twisting
standing poses. Seriously, if Parvrrta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose), Parivrtta Parksvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose), or
Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose) were people, I'd kick them all in the shins (and I'm
not a violent person). But I know the poses I hate are probably the ones I
need most, so I practice them anyway. Here are a few ways I've learned to cope
with loathsome poses.

1. Fake It. It might not
sound very yogic, but if you pretend you like a pose through your body
language, breath, and internal dialogue, you might eventually change your
perspective about it. When your teacher calls out your least favorite pose, instead
of thinking "No.. Not this one again!," think, "I love a
challenge!" Take deep calming breaths. And maybe, just maybe, let the
corners of your lips curl up into a smile.

2. Consider Its Detoxifying Effects. In
yoga, the poses that make you squirm are often the ones that touch parts of
the body where you hold tension or emotions. When you work on those poses, it
brings up all kinds of discomfort! I like to imagine that the discomfort is a sign that the negative "stuff" is moving on out of my body. It might even come
out of your pores!

3. Just Do It Anyway--Like
Eating Your Greens.
Remember when you were a kid, and your mom made you sit
at the table until you finished your greens? You knew they were good for you,
but they just looked so icky and gross? As you grew up, you probably realized
that they weren't so bad and if you'd just eaten them you could've moved on with your
life without sitting at the table for hours. Your mind is like a 5-year-old
when it comes to your most hated pose (spinach). Just do it anyway. The more you practice, the more you'll see
it's not that bad and you might even kind of start to like it.

4. Approach It with
Gratitude.
Maybe when you were sitting at the dinner table as a child your
mom told you, "There are starving children in the world that would love
to eat those greens!" Sorry to go all lecture-y on you, but just think
about how lucky you are that you have the ability to practice the pose
you hate. You have the ability, guidance, and resources to practice.

5. Laugh at Yourself.
Think of it this way: You're stressing out about YOGA. You have to see the
humor in that. Isn't one of the reasons you doing yoga to help you manage your
stress? So, one of the poses is a little uncomfortable... maybe you fall down
every time you try it... or look like an awkward chicken... Just laugh at your
attempt, know that your efforts will pay off eventually, and keep going. You'll
be glad you did!

Erica Rodefer is a writer and yoga practitioner living in Charleston, SC. For more of her writing visit her blog, SpoiledYogi.com.