Utkatasana is "chair pose" and looks like you're sitting in an invisible chair and is a foundational pose in flow yoga.
It builds heat in the body, fires up your quads, engages your core, and improves elimination. It's also like holding a squat, sometimes for quite a while and sometimes with an added twist: actually twisting your body to the right or left! While holding the squat.
It's a tough pose!
In my classes, when I said "utkatasana" or "chair pose," my students began to audibly sigh, then groan. Every time we did it (which was every class).
And so, I decided to help them reframe.
Instead of groaning, I asked them to cheer whenever I said "chair pose." They immediately laughed, of course, and the next time chair pose came around I said, "YAAAAAY chair pose!"
They laughed again, cheered, and lowered into their imaginary chairs. We did this multiple times per class, celebrating chair each and every time we did the pose.
Over the course of several weeks, my students maintained their cheerful chair poses and remarked about how much easier it seemed.
After a while, it no longer became necessary for them to cheer, but they certainly did not groan every time we took utkatasana.
The reframe worked. And stuck.
As much as years later, the occasional student says, "Yay!" when I call out utkatasana.
So here's my question: where in your life are you groaning over something that is not only inevitable but also beneficial?
Where do you need a reframe? Where do you need to say, "Yay! Chair pose!?"
The act of reframing does not change circumstances (it's still a damn hard pose) but it does change your story about the circumstances.
One of the beautiful things about yoga is that it teaches us to examine our stories. To hold them up to the light and to see where there is fact vs. where there is interpretation and to discern whether that interpretation is serving us or hindering us.
In that vein, I hereby inaugurate TGIM (Thank God It's Monday!) to reframe the much-maligned beginning of the week with this post.
Here's to reframing with you each and every week.
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