THE MISSING MUSCLE
One of my life-long challenges has been balance — balance on two feet (so true), while walking in heels (too easy), on the sidewalk (knee scars), dancing (face plants), and every single one-footed balance pose (try me) that yoga has to offer.
I have fallen out of high crescent lunge more times that I can count. Though some days were different than others, I never consistently held my place. No amount of focus, drishti or core engagement ever seemed to get it exactly right in my body.
Though all of those pieces are a part of the story, it wasn't until one of my teachers pointed out the exact muscle I was missing that I was able to stand tall. In that case, it was the muscles in the outer hips that I needed to call upon to support me.
It made me wonder how many poses weren't working for me just because there was one missing piece. The yoga practice asks us to be curious, to find the things that are holding us back, and then get the hell out of our own way. Poses unfold in our bodies with something new to work on every time practice.
I had a similar experience when I was trying to find a way to work the transition from bakasana (crow) to chaturanga. I asked myself — What is missing? Where can I engage? For me, it was the engagement of mula bandha, the pelvic floor, that I gave me the lift to shoot back to chaturanga. It's still not a perfect transition, but I'm not into perfection. I'm into curiosity.
Are there poses you can identify with a missing piece? What is it?