When I am struggling with a posture, it is almost inevitably because I am doing it incorrectly or trying to push it deeper than I am prepared to do. It can feel like I am actually "fighting" the posture, pushing my body and mind to do something they don't want to do. But every single yoga posture is an effortless body position when executed correctly.
Now, when I find myself fighting a posture, I go back to the beginning. I examine the purpose of the posture as a whole and the function of each individual body part. Then, I approach it like a beginner and build it piece by piece. I have written about this before regarding Cobra Pose and more recently Crow Pose.
The most important part of building a posture is the pursuit of effortlessness. Sure, muscles will work and get tired, and we will come to the edge of our flexibility. But it should always be done with a clear, quiet mind and a sense of ease. When I begin re-building a posture, it looks awkward and very shallow for weeks or even months. But before too long the postures open up deeper than ever before, but this time they are free and easy, without the struggle.
So if you are ever "fighting" a posture, go back to the beginning. Start over, like it's your first time. Do each part right, do it with simplicity and peace. Soon, the whole posture will bloom.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga