We have this pose in Bikram Yoga called the Half Moon Pose. (Ardha Chandrasana) It comes early on in the series. The name is derived from the posture itself, to lean your body in such a way as to look like a half moon. (Duh, right.)
I have had quite a journey with this particular posture. It seemed at one point in time that I had the best half moon, until I realized I was doing it wrong. Now, it's so so. I've had to recalibrate it so many times. Before it was the best, (which it never really was), it was the worst. Seriously, the worst. I began the yoga with a damaged body. I'd jammed my back so many times, I didn't realize I was completely crooked. So, I'd do this posture completely out of alignment. I'd just fold right in half. Hips here, arms there. I was so proud of myself, until I realized, I was the one folding in half. Over and over the teachers say don't fold in half.
Here's where I'm going with all this. The dialogue can be confusing. And it makes me wonder how it applies in life. See, when new students come, they hear lean to the right, and they lean to the right; arms projecting forward, because that's our bodies' natural inclination. Somewhere in the dialogue, the teacher says your body is to look as if it could slip between two panes of glass. But then, to guide the new students who are hunching forward, the teacher says something that seems contradictory, if you are already slipping between two panes; the teacher says to lean back. The problem is, the ones who are meant to hear that don't, and still stand in this weird awkward hunched forward position. On the other hand, there's a whole group who think the direction is for them and wind up in some weird sideways back-bend. Very few hear the instruction to be able to slip between two panes of glass, or if they hear it, leave it at that.
And so I wonder, how often do we follow something, an inclination, an instruction, hearing what is meant for someone else, and wind up in some weird back bend that was never meant to be? Seems like life is like this one single posture. It's a series of recalibration and paradigm shifts. I guess the important thing is to listen and to translate what is important to disregard, and what is important to apply.