You Learn Something New Every Day

On a really good day, you get to learn more than one thing!

Yesterday, I learned that I can do this!

It’s called Marichyasana I, or bound seated half staff. Until yesterday, I’d never attempted it, so I had no idea whether or not I could actually reach around me knee to clasp my hands behind my back. Generally, bound poses are tough for me, both because my shoulders are notoriously tight and because, while I don’t have T-Rex arms, I’m not particularly long-limbed, either. I was a little surprised that I could do this pose – and that I could do it well. Now I’ve got something new to bring to my classes (ready, Weeble?).

I also spent my lunch hour with a lovely soul from the class who guided me to a realization about something I’ve been struggling with within myself. I was relating my story to her; telling her about my frustrations and fears, about how tense and sad I’ve been lately, and she reminded me that none of this work exists outside of myself – that I have to go inward. I need to stop allowing myself to stress out about the other people, she said, because there’s nothing that I can do about the choices they make or the things they do or do not say or feel. What’s needed, she reminded me, is that I go inside to figure out what buttons, what old wounds, what triggers these situations are setting off in me, and how I can get underneath them and suck out the power they have over me. What I realized, sitting there over a really yummy steak salad, was that I was living in my past in a few of the things I’ve been dealing with in my present.


I grew up being told that I was something I wasn’t – nearly all the messages I received from the people I thought should know me well were negative at best and abusive at worst. I spent a good part of my early life trying desperately to prove to these people that I wasn’t the terrible person they made me out to be, but no amount of effort on my part could change what they saw. A lot of the negative energy that I’ve been feeling lately, my friend helped me realize, is very likely the result of my being afraid of being accused of being something I’m not; that I would be told that I am a disappointment or that I am inadequate or that I’m being a bad friend. I’m recognizing that it’s entirely my responsibility to be what I am, and to remind myself that no one else gets to tell me who that person is. I get to create my own self, and I shouldn’t give that power away to anyone else. That’s my work, and I’m grateful to my friend and colleague for reminding me of that.

image credit,



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11 responses to “You Learn Something New Every Day

  1. Ouch. That looks painful. 🙂

  2. “suck out the power they have over me”

    I think this is some of the wisest advice I have heard in a long time. Wonderful!

  3. Jen

    What a wonderful friend you have. True friends can see your soul, not just the person you are on the outside.

  4. First, I’m doubly impressed that you can do that! I’m not sure I could do that even if I was limber.

    Second, I hear you on the whole negative messages when were growing up thing. My older brother is nothing more than a bully. As we know, bullies are bullies due to their own low self-esteem. This still doesn’t lessen the pain for their victims, of which I was one until he finally moved out of our house. It has taken me a long time to truly value the person I am and to also understand that those around me, including my own children, will often make decisions that I may not agree with.

  5. Good lord! You can do that? Color me impressed.

    You know, i still hear those negative messages too. I try not to, but they are permanently etched on my brain.

    I wish you luck in getting rid of them. I haven’t been able to. Maybe i don’t want it enough.

  6. You have a very good friend.

    And, apparently, a pretzel-like body. I’m amazed that you can do that.

  7. Weeble

    I am SOOOO not ready for that, but I will try….

  8. De

    I tried it, and man, do my shoulders feel better already!

    Around 4:00 in the morning on Saturday my husband gave me a new perspective on something that affects me. It’s hard to hold on to revelations at that hour, but I’m trying!

  9. Whenever those little voices start muttering that you are not a good person, REMEMBER YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON. (That was my voice shouting…by the way…very loudly…all the way from France)
    I’m off to try and tie my wrists in a knot. It might improve my harmonium playing

  10. Well I thought I would give this My Achy Shin Ha Ha a try just to see if I would be able to accomplish it in my lifetime.

    Yeah, probably not.

    Next time someone says something negative about you, drop into this pose and say, “Your turn.”

    “Third, look what I can do,” as he does one-handed handstand push-ups.

    “I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.”

    “No, no. He has a point.”

    -Emporer’s New Groove.

  11. Sweet Jeebus! It took me a while to figure out what I was looking at in that pose. Kudos for being able to make your body do that. My body is still asking what is happening…*tee hee*

    Clarity from a friend is remarkable. Especially when it reveals how our thinking sabotages our own happiness & well being.


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