"Teach me the hardest pose in the world!"

Posted on: by Dr Celia Swan

Celia satisfies demands from tourists on the side of Mount Srd, Croatia. #enjoytheride #committoyourself

“Teach me the hardest post in the world! What is the hardest pose in the world??”

I sensed they were watching my yoga practice from the rocky switchback above but I hadn’t expected quite that introductory line!  The two young Italian tourists bounded eagerly up to me. “Show us the craziest thing you can do. Go go go!” 

It was 6.30am. My British reserve was still very much with me and I was slightly taken a back. I wondered where they had purchased their morning espressos. As it happened I was in the perfect place in my practice to meet their requests.

It was just after sunrise on Mount Srd overlooking the beautiful historical city of Dubrovnik. The sun was starting to gift its warm rays on my yoga matt. I had perched, slightly precariously, on the corner of one of the 24 switchbacks leading up to the top of the mountain and the view was spectacular. The stones under my matt didn’t matter. The beautiful fresh air filling my lungs did.

When I first started doing yoga many years ago, there was a strong element of  feeding my ego: my objectives centred around what really impressive thing could I do, which pose could I achieve that day, and what can I do  better than that annoying girl in finance who I went to lunch time yoga class with!

I soon learnt that this only led to frustration because there will always be more objectives to chase and endless people to compare myself against.  Instead, I found that  if I change my internal dialogue, tune  into what my body feels like and what  my mind needs, then there is an infinite amount  to be gained during practice. 

If I have niggles or if my mind or certain limbs are tired, but I am determined to do a pose that day e.g I WILL do a scorpion, then body and mind are in conflict and the pleasure is lost. This is no longer yoga. It is a beasting- and in the past I have been very good at beasting myself!

Often quietening my busy mind is the hardest thing to do but in a busy world where so many things require attention it is often the most nourishing thing I can do for myself- not some crazy posture to force my limbs into. No rules. No objectives to tick off.  Just enjoying.

“Come and sit closer,” I gestured  to my new found friends, “I will show you the hardest pose to master.”

I lay down on my matt and closed my eyes. Savasana.  Five minutes later I resurfaced to find them lying next to me - their faces serene. Silence.
#committoyourself #enjoythejourney


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