So, you know how to make a grand entrance, but do you know how to make an exit?
One of the big “missing pieces” of so many people’s yoga practice is the lack of follow through. The not waiting until the fat lady sings. The premature evacuation of a pose.
Keep in mind that a truly mindful practice goes from beginning to end. From the first ujjayi breath to the namaste. Think about the exit as the mirror image of the entry. Seems like a pretty straightforward concept, I know, but it is amazing how very, very few people adhere to it.
What is the culprit?
An overemphasis on the poses and an underemphasis on the practice. Thinking of the practice as a series of asanas instead of a vinyasa, a flow, a coherent whole. Looking for the dots instead of connecting them.
Way too often, people try so hard to accomplish a pose and then…they just plop out of it. Landing wherever, however, “whatever”…..
Keep in mind, when you plop out, you check out. If you are not applying the same mindfulness to your exit as you are to your entry and your execution, you are not completing the pose or respecting the practice.
One caveat: if you try your best but literally cannot come out of a pose in control, that is still mindful practice. Just keep working as you are. You are on the path.
But if it is your habit to do a pose and then “done!“, it may mean you need to reevaluate your commitment to your yoga. Is this just a workout? Is it just a series of really cool Instagram photos? Or is it the union of mind, body and spirit? In other words, “yoga”?