My Ashtanga Excuses.


I adore Ashtanga. It’s awesome. There is no other yoga style that I would prefer to start my day with.

That said, Ashtanga is freakin’ hard sometimes! It can take years to get a pose. It’s a practice of balancing your frustration with patience and acceptance.

Like most people, I have some poses that really challenge me. Often I laugh and just move on, other days I brood over them, and sometimes I deplore the practice and come up with an excuse about why I can’t “do” that pose.

Some excuses are legit (e.g., my sacrum is feeling a bit off so I need to take it easy today with my forward folds/externally rotated hip poses), but a lot of excuses are just that – excuses! Self-created justifications to not sit with the pain and the struggles, reasons to back out, coddle yourself or give up and act grumpy!

Here are some of my prime (and silliest) excuses: 

My butt is too heavy, that’s why I fall backwards in pasasana.

My torso is too long, that’s why I can’t bind when I arch back in supta vajrasana.

My neck is too wobbly, that’s why I won’t fully do setu bhandasana. I’ll tip over!

The tops of my ankles are too tight, that’s why my feet won’t go flat in pursvotanasana.

My right hip needs to pop. I’m sure once it pops that leg will go behind my head.

My shoulder is too bony. It hurts to do parsva-dhanurasana so I will just fake it.

I won’t reach for my ankles today because I think the teacher will drop me.

My crown chakra feels really sensitive. I’ll just skip headstand and do legs-up-the-wall instead.

Yea, ridiculous, I know…. the things we tell ourselves!

So what’s your excuse?

Love Frances

image gracias to my buddy at Ashtanga memes.


8 thoughts on “My Ashtanga Excuses.

  1. Funny Frances:) Love the new blog, it’s so lovely. I’m sure I have an arsenal of excuses, but the one I always fall back on is when I am transitioning from Bhujapidasana, the vinyasa, my legs end up in some odd place, so the Bekasana portion looks kooky, and I say to myself “well who really cares if I can do this or jump back”……I really care:)

  2. Haha! Love the list of excuses. This one this morning: The baby has hiccups *on my mula bandha* so I’ll just take a few extra breaths in downward dog…

  3. Love this fessing up and love the new blog background too
    Most of my excuses have dropped away over time, proved false which is a pain because once you know then you just have to get on and do the work
    My favourite one for a long time though was
    “I’m a guy”. Re anything where any suggestion of flexibility was involved
    Was still clinging on to that a little with trivikramasana ’till Kino just revealed there’s a trick to that too (sigh).

    Oh I have a dodgy knee (old op) still use that sometimes to back off in baddha konasana say, although I know it just feels uncomfortable rather than stopping me altogether.

    And one more, I have osteoarthritis, back is really achy in the morning, allows me to faff about on the net and drink coffee for longer than I should as I wait for it to ‘loosen up’, kind of what I’m doing right now ( A handful of Sury’s I know do that better than the coffee and sitting in frount of the mac for half an hour but still).

    • Thanks Grimmly!
      Totally – They do slip away with practice. Just yesterday I held on to my hands during supta vajrasana the whole time, so there goes that whole “long torso” thing 😉 Whoops!
      My husband always picks on me if I do the “I’m a girl” excuse…especially with jumpbacks and things like that. But it’s good, because between him and DG, I know I’m going to get the jumpback sooner or later despite my girly arms.
      Thanks for commenting and reading Lila!

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