Last night was a testy asana practice. I went to class, which is essentially a beginning class taught by my girlfriend. I went even though my body was screaming to lay down. I'm inflamed from head to toe right now, so my mobility is rather limited. Rest and gentle stretching are really what's called for.
Anyway. Asana. This is the part of the 8 Limb Path that most people think is "YOGA." They don't realize when they get into it that it is just a small part of what yoga is. Once they get started, however, they realize (if they have good teachers) that there is so much yoga beyond it.
Asana is what I struggle with the most. It's the part where I do the most inner arguing. I tend to be a "Black Knight" when it comes to asana. I want to go all the way to the end of the pose. Right away. I want my alignment to be perfect. I want to be able to pretzel up on command. I want my downward dog to be perfect and I don't want to do no stinkin' resting between poses! (I should clarify, however, that I do like svasana) But there are times, like last night, when my body says "Dispense with the Black Knight. Let's be a Panda for a while." A warm, fuzzy panda. Gentle, lumbering, slow and easy.
Last night as I stepped on my mat, I told myself. "Easy now. Panda. Use props (which I despise), rest a lot." And so I did back off. But I beat myself up internally the entire time. I know what my body is capable of and it's hard for me to back off and give it a rest.
So I ruined the practice for myself by not living in the present and just enjoying what I could. That's my asana struggle.