artwork credit: Sam Dantone at RedBubble.com
A yogic pusher, that is. So maybe alert the yo po? The yolice? Er ... on to the point.
Joel Kramer (in Yoga as Self-Transformation) opened my eyes further to the fact that I fall into the category of what he calls "Pushers". He notes his belief that there are two types of yoga practitioners: Pushers and Sensualists. In Joel's words, "The pushers are more into control and progress - the sensualists, into surrender and relaxation."
The pusher's frame of mind: "involves viewing a posture as an end to be achieved, a goal: how far you get in the posture is what counts."
The sensualist's frame of mind: "views the posture as a tool to explore and open the body. Instead of using the body to "get" the posture, you use the posture to open the body."
To quote R. Kelly, "I'm wise enough to know when a body's callin' me," and mine is usually telling me to push, to compete, to go big, to be the best. And FML if this isn't exhausting. Exhilarating, but also exhausting, as there's no room to enjoy.
I resist my limits. I like to believe I have none. In effect, I spend much of my practice not truly listening to myself (the real me, not my football coach alter-ego). I am aware, however, and this means I can change. I, too, can be a sensualist! If you know me well and are reading this, I know you're laughing, but I will defy the odds. I will be sensitive to internal feedback!
"When you change your focus from "resisting resistance" to channeling energy into where the limits lie, your body can follow its own flow and open on its own, with minimal resistance. Trying forcibly to push past your limits actually creates more resistance and tension, whereas surrendering to the posture ultimately draws you into far greater depth. The body will tell you when to move and deepen if you listen to it." (Kramer)
Do yourself and your practice a favor and read Joel's article. It certainly moved me - and moved my mindset and practice along by miles. It's a work in progress.
Joel Kramer - Yoga as Self-Transformation (PDF from Joel's website)