A student asked, "Is it okay if I put my hands on the floor during Warrior III if I'm struggling?"
If an assist like dropping the hands is needed, then absolutely! Set the hands down. One huge thing that we're working on in class is being able to adapt to the demands of the moment. Trying to not be attached to always having a certain way of doing things. For example... I've just had you go thru a very difficult combination of postures and movements and you've become winded and now you're in boat pose...and I say, "If you've lost your breath catch it here."
Wait what!? In boat pose? That's right. Perhaps your boat is usually tip top...looks like a perfect V...yoga journal cover stuff. Can you adapt the posture, perhaps bending the knees making it a little easier so that you can catch your breath? This requires removing ego from the action. Having and/or developing humility and confidence...not being concerned with what you look like or what others in the room might think. Developing the ability and wisdom to know when to soldier on and when to surrender/rest.
Watch out though...ego is tricky...you may start adapting postures regularly so that is appears to others and/or your self that you're more enlightened. Or... perhaps you're just being lazy, constantly taking breaks when things get difficult. Or both! Either way, one should be on the look out for sloth, false humility, and/or virtue signaling in their yoga/asana practice as well as their daily lives (how we practice yogasana is how we live). Keep in mind that the other end of the spectrum from sloth or laziness...always pushing through practice super hard with the mind in a fight mode, or proving one's worth mode, or proving one's the better mode, with labored short breathing and an agitated mind has its poisons as well (I'll save that for a separate post). Fighting the good fight...trying to find some balance between chaos and order is a constant work in progress.
Some great questions to ask ourselves to evaluate our actions (not just when practicing asana) are... What am I doing and why? What am I not doing and why? Be brutally honest with the answers. And it may not always be the first answer that comes up that is the root... it may be necessary to question further and dig a little deeper to get to the bottom... to get to the truth. If the answer(s) prove to be a little less than admirable, we can begin to make changes. There is always something to improve on, to make better. Making small changes for the good day after day, month after month and year after year has the power to completely transform us after just a few years of diligent practice.
Little by little, a steady drip of water will hollow out stone. Michelangelo knew that the statue of David was in the block of marble, he just needed to remove what wasn't essential to the end result.
Carl Jung said, "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." Sorting yourself out. This is Yoga (Union) practice... asana is just a tool to help us do the work
I'll leave you with something to chew on. When you say you do Yoga...ask yourself, is it true? Do I really?
Thanks for reading.