Intro to New Series: Love It or Not

I’ve been kicking around an idea for a new series for myself for almost a year. I was originally going to call the series “Love It or Hate It” but really don’t want to use the word “hate” in regards to yoga poses. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My practice has changed a lot over the years (I started practicing in 1997). I am not a flexible person, which I know is atypical for a yogi, and I am also not a competitive person. I’ve always been kind of serious/casual about my practice. I think the practice and philosophy of yoga is important but I would rather have fun with the postures than stress about being perfect in them. If I’m honest, I avoid the poses I don’t like a whole lot in both my teaching and my practice.

Between turning 50 and not practicing in-person with others, I’m noticing lots more imbalances in my body than I ever have before. I need to incorporate more of the poses I don’t like.

There are whole types of poses I don’t like, which got me curious. It’s not always my ability to do a pose that makes me like it or not. It’s not always whether it’s considered beginner’s or advanced (I really don’t like those labels anyway). I’ll be exploring why I do and don’t like some poses here.

Because I’m nerdy and systematic, I decided to use Yoga Journal’s list of poses by type as a basis for my exploration. I’m skipping what the pranayama, bandha, and mudra categories for now and focusing on the physical poses.

Using their lists, here’s the breakdown of what I like and what I don’t.

  • Love: forward bends, balancing poses, inversions, and restorative poses.
  • Mostly love: seated poses and hip openers.
  • Middle of the road about: strengtheners, core work, chest openers, and twists.
  • Definitely do NOT love: backbends, arm balances, and binds.

Most of those don’t surprise me with the exceptions of core work and twists. I usually groan about core work and welcome twists in class, so I was a bit surprised when I looked more closely as those lists.

Feel free to let me know about any poses you have strong feelings about in the comments.