yoga pose, thy name is nemesis

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yoga nemesis pose

We all have one. Sometimes more. From beginners to advanced yogis and yoginis, each of us has at the very least, that one pose. The asana that strikes fear (or at least unpleasantness) into our hearts. The one that makes us quiver and shake. In each and every class, we pray that our teacher will not give breath to those blasphemous words.

Akin to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in Harry Potter, I hesitate to verbalize my nemesis. It already wields too great a power. On the other hand, if I put it out there, perhaps it will lose potency. So here goes.

The Yoga Nemesis Pose:

Utthita Parsvakonasana

Whew. Ok, no yogi monsters appeared in a cloud of smoke. My head is still attached to my body. And my brain doesn’t feel scrambled. Good.

My practice is strong, but this looks-so-innocent little pose consistently gives me grief. Commonly held wisdom tells us that the things we detest most are often what we need most. We resist what may well be medicine or the path to a breakthrough. We don’t like to rip off the band-aid, even though our wounds need oxygen to heal.

Parsvakonasana wears me out. I feel weak, tired, and angsty in this pose. My ire rises up and washes over me like an angry tide of red ants. I suppose I need to dig deep to figure out why it’s such a drain and a drag. What hidden sore spots is it accessing deep in my cells? What am I protecting there? What am I holding on to that I need to let go? Whatever it is, it lurks in my legs.

What’s your nemesis pose? Perhaps together we can overcome our stuckness and proclaim victory + freedom!

photo credit: Getty Images

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soothsayer. illusion slayer. intj/mastermind. writer + artist + strategist + innovator. california born, city of angels bred. gypset world traveler. la face with an oakland booty. queen of the jungle who doesn't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

12 Comments to yoga pose, thy name is nemesis

  1. Anything inverted – I am afraid of going upside down, yet I want to badly!

  2. Pinca Mayurasana without the wall. Every time I think I’m there I flip backwards and fall in a sloppy mess!

  3. Tommy Tadasana

    I ain’t got the sanskrit vocab them fancy names y’all use, but the Hatfield pose to my McCoy is Chair Pose. Might Fierce, or whatever ya wanna call it. Gets my dander all up and makes me plum furious.

  4. Rachel – you’re not alone, I find that a lot of people really dislike bow.

    Meredith – damn pigeons, anyhow. :) you know, YogaWorks teachers as a general whole rarely teach pigeon. the belief is that it’s just too much on the body and too easy for students to injure themselves. i find that if i stay in it too long, it kills my knees. old volleyball injuries, sigh.

    Jodi – you can do it! inversions are the best and so, so very good for you in about a million ways. begin your practice at the wall first. take your time with it. i bet you’ve already done a good portion of the inversions out there. many don’t realize that Down Dog, Legs-Up-the-Wall pose, Puppy Dog, Dolphin, and Halasana are all categorized as inversions. See! So you’re already practicing the bulk of them! :)

    Kat – ah, Pincha. i recently hurt my neck pretty badly in that pose. had to take two weeks off yoga = die! it’s ALL about the shoulders/framework and a slight shift in the body. and such a pose to be present in!

    Tami – word. AMS is NOT a resting pose, it’s one of the workiest poses around. we should set fire to whoever said that. resting pose, my foot!

    Tommy – you aren’t fooling anyone. we know you’re fierce. btw, if it gets your dander up, wouldn’t that be “plum furrious”? :P

  5. Hi, thanks for the lovely comment on my blog :-)

    For now, my nemesis would be Virasana. My knees cringe and scream if I try too hard to get my butt on the floor. And it’s supposed to be a “basic sitting poses”, yeah right!

  6. I had a fellow instructor in class yesterday who thanked me after class for doing Standing Splits… his nemesis. He won’t teach it because he doesn’t enjoy it, but acknowledged that he needed to deepen his practice by including them. “Love Thy Enemy”, right? LOL Mine is Triangle… dunno why… just doesn’t fit my body the way that I would like for it to… for that reason, I teach it often, hoping one day I will find the luv.

  7. reverse warrior is one of my nemesis poses. i truly hate it and i just CAN’T find ease in it no matter how hard i try!

  8. Salamba Sirsasana is my nemesis. Even in the prep or against a wall, I can’t seem to find the sweet spot where my weight is properly balanced between my upper arms and head. Without the wall, it invariably turns into a forward roll.

    I’m trying conquer Ustrasana (can’t reach my heels) and Urdhva Dhanurasana (can’t get my head off the mat).

  9. savasana.
    fear and loathing. went to a sivananada class where we did it three or four times.
    much prefer seated meditation instead of pain.