Yoga Plank Pose


I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer screen, so sometimes I go to yoga just as a break to my sedentary lifestyle.  There’s something gratifying in the motion and flow that coincides with the inhales and exhales.  The lifting and lowering, the bends, the reaches, the sweeping of the arms all put me in a sort of indescribable euphoria.Then the instructor says, “Now lower your elbows to a forearm plank.”

And I think, “Ok, then what?”

…more plank pose.  The voice in my head starts to sound like Andy Rooney.

“No, I don’t want to hear your anecdote. I want to know the next pose!”

The teacher says, “Now lift your right leg.”

My inner curmudgeon is raging.

“Forget it, I quit.  I’ll join back in when we do something else.  I hate this.”

I wanted to move like a rushing wind, but when I was brought into plank the wind died and an intense fire started burning in my core.  How could this position be so simple yet so difficult?

Once I developed as a yogi the purpose of plank pose became clear.  It’s really a practice of mindfulness; the ability to live in the present and accept it for what it is.  It allows for mental/emotional resiliency.  People who practice mindfulness are able to make it through all of life’s uncomfortable moments.  They weeble and wobble but they don’t fall down.

It wasn’t until I told my inner curmudgeon to shut up that I started to discover my true potential.  I could relax my face, remember to breathe, and pay attention to how I was feeling.  Plank pose was no longer an excruciating wait; it was an embrace with the fire that burns inside me.