Peak postures: everyone wants to do them, but not everyone wants to prepare for them 🔑
Wild, exciting peak postures may be flashy and desirable because we see them all over Instagram, but it is important that we prepare for them so we don’t get injured. Injury prevention is a large part of our practice, because injuries can set us back emotionally and physically. The point of our practice is not to run and jump towards some kind of goal or destination, but to more fully enjoy and understand the journey so that we can fully saver and be grateful for everything along way. As it is said, Yoga is not about touching your toes, but about what you learn along the way.
So back to these peak postures. There are many ways that we need to educate our body before we are ready for peak postures. We can educate the body within the practice, so that we are ready to perform the specific asana. We can educate the body over long periods of time, so we can build muscle memory and posture is more accessible for us.
Preferably, we do both with proper instruction - making sure that our body is physically able to perform the posture because we have prepared it overtime, and that we have educated the proper component parts within the specific practice so that we can push ourselves safely. For example: the variation of camel pose above - opening the chest, upper back, hips, and hip flexors is important to go into the pose safely and efficiently!
Our peak postures series that released this month by Liz Biscevic will help you warm up, open, and explore some of these fun peak poses (such as camel, dancing shiva, side crow, hummingbird/grasshopper) - check them out HERE! For other tutorials of peak postures, we have a whole section on breaking down postures HERE. Deandre Sinette's newest class is all about prepping for Eka Pada Koudinyasana 2.
The best part about setting up classes this way is that we can take the modifications and progressions that we need, even if our body doesn’t feel like doing it on the specific day. This also sets us up for two major emotional/mental tools 1) being able to savor the journey and enjoy the process (which means that the goal isn’t even relevant, because wherever we are is happy) and 2) Having a systemic approach to focus , patience, and mindfulness that we can apply to situations off of the mat.
Doing the "peak pose" will give us gratification for a short amount of time, but if we are fully able to distill the lessons we learn along the way and approach the practice in a safe manner, we can turn our life into our practice and be ready for all the peaks that come.