Pulling is the Object of Stretching

After four years, my asanas are getting better. I can touch my forehead to my knee in Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose and keep my hands in prayer. I can just about tap my forehead to my knee with Standing Head to Knee Pose. But I can NOT for the life of me get over the insane grammar that is behind the phrase “pulling is the object of stretching.” That makes no sense. Stretching is the object of pulling. But this is the Dialogue as Bikram prescribes, every teacher says it and so long as I take class I will be forced to hear this phrase.

Can I truly achieve the full expression of a pose when I am only doing so in the physical, not the mental. When I spend half my class looking at (read: critiquing) other people in their poses rather than concentrating and meditating on what is happening on my own mat, with my own postures? How do I find the balance (no pun intended) between trying by best with a pose and obsessing over every detail. Will I ever be able to teach a class if I am nitpicking myself – will I do the same to my students? And in doing so, turn them away?

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t judge people who can’t get in to the full expression of the pose – but when they aren’t listening to the instructions at all, it frustrates me. When the dialogue is telling you to keep your head up in Head to Knee with Stretching but they are looking down, I get so annoyed. But why? How is it my business? What does it have to do with my own practice? I need to work on that as much as I do my postures if I ever want to get the full benefits of yoga – a moving MEDITATION.

The above is my daughter leisurely doing a Down Dog while playing in the sand. She is a true yogi in every sense of the word. No judgment, only joy and acceptance.



3 thoughts on “Pulling is the Object of Stretching

  1. ““pulling is the object of stretching.” That makes no sense. Stretching is the object of pulling. ”
    Right?! This. Drives. Me. Crazy. Also, in standing bow pulling pose “kick your leg back hard enough you can stay here forever”. No. I can’t. That is not physically possible. But thanks for the vote of confidence 🙂 Dialogue aside though, bikram is the best.


    1. I will say – I can stay longer when I KICK in standing bow pulling pose rather than yank on my leg, which is what I used to do. So at least it is SOMEWHAT helpful. And it is super nice to know that I am not the only one who thinks this phrasing is insane. “How can pulling be the object of stretching” I mutter to myself as I step on my hands and try to get my face below my knees. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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