I've written before about how important it is to do the yoga poses you dislike because usually that's what your body and mind need most. When coming up with content for this post, I had to really think about what poses I disliked. I had already talked about my intense dislike for half moon pose, but other than that I was having a tough time figuring it out until I switched the wording in my head. It was less about what I disliked and more about what I generally avoided in my personal practice. I flipped through my teacher training manual to get ideas, googled yoga images, and thought about classes I've taken and came up with these five poses. I'd love to know if you feel the same, or if you love some of these. What poses do you tend to avoid?
The image above is dolphin pose. I avoid it because I feel so awkward doing it, and after 5 breaths my shoulders start to burn...which is the whole point, I guess.
Ustrasana, or camel pose, is such a great posture. It's good for anxiety, fatigue and mild backaches...but it is next on my list of avoided poses. See, it also stretches the throat, which is a strange sensation for me, and between the stretched out throat and the stretched out front body, I feel like I have a hard time breathing fully in this position.
Next up is prasarita padottanasana, or wide-leg forward bend. I have really tight hamstrings (which is why I should do this more often) so it's just an uncomfortable position for me. To do it, take a wide stance, turn the feet in towards each other so the outer edges of the feet are parallel with the short ends of the mat (so your feet will be slightly pigeon-toed). Inhale and come forward, fingers in line with the toes and elbows straight out behind you, tailbone lifted.
No idea what this pose is called- I did extensive googling but came up with nothing. Meghan Currie is a big fan of this and it was at her workshop that I started to think, "Ok, never doing this pose again!" (The fact that I was practicing in a deep puddle of my own sweat might have had something to do with it.) I don't actually mind this pose but it was on high rotation during that practice and I'll always think of how hard I worked in that session whenever I do this pose. Anyway, you go from down dog to three legged dog, to this. You thread the right leg underneath the left arm, and then lift the left arm. You lift the hips and lift the right leg at high as you can and HOLD. Breathe for 5-7 breaths. Kills the obliques and great for a power practice.
And finally, the mother of all uncomfortable poses (for me, anyway)- locust pose. This one I truly, truly avoid. There are a couple different ways to do locust pose- you can do it with the arms out front, for example. But this variation I used to do in my Bikram days and now I maybe slip it into a practice three or four times a year. Why do I avoid it? For the simple reason that it's freaking hard for me. Starting on your stomach, bring your palms to the mat underneath you so your pinkies are touching. Fan your fingers out. Legs zipped together, toes spread, use your back body muscles and push into your fingers to lift your legs as high as you can.
So tell me, what are your least favorite poses? Or, if you don't have any that stick out in your mind- what do you tend to avoid? Any idea why?