Fitness Magazine

Plow? Shoulderstand?

By Nadine
I surprised myself the other day. I was teaching a class to relative beginners. One of them asked about a couple of poses: she asked about a pose where your feet go behind your head followed by one with the feet in the air. I knew she was talking about Plow and Shoulderstand. She had previously attended an intermediate/advanced class and been a bit intimidated.
I talked a little about how those poses are really beneficial but aren't necessary. I say this because I don't think any pose is necessary. I think that you find the Yoga poses that work for you. I also talked about the fact that I don't generally teach those poses (there are some exceptions with students who've been with me for a while).
And then I went to demonstrate the beginning of those poses. I say the beginning because I haven't been able to easily get into these poses for years. My intent was to show them partway and then discuss where you go from there. None of my students would be doing the pose, it was just part of the discussion. So, I gently rolled myself backward...
And went into Plow! I was so shocked. And then I went into Shoulderstand (which I've always found a bit easier than Plow). I was so happy that my body has changed and shifted enough that I can now do these poses. I've practiced them several other times since then (to ensure it wasn't some sort of fluke).
This has reminded me that even though I don't teach the more advanced poses on a regular basis, I would like to practice them myself regularly. My body is often ready to surprise me and I love it! And it prepares me more to teach my students these poses when they are ready.

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