Cooking is a lot like yoga.
Let’s say you know you want to make a carrot cake. There are certain measures that need to be taken in order to get you from a pile of ingredients to a beautiful, edible cake. Likewise, you know you want to do Tree pose, but there are certain measures that need to be taken in order to move your assortment of body parts into a strong, stable tree.
First you have your carrot. We have to wash it, peel it, shred it. Then it gets added to a list of other perfectly proportioned ingredients at just the right time. We learn that some things go together first, in a certain order. We find out how to modify if we don’t have that specific ingredient the recipe called for (is there an acceptable substitute for baking powder?). Then, we might need to add a little heat in the mix to transform this blob of batter into a beautiful baked good! We give it a supportive container to help shape it on the way up, and let time do the rest.
In this same way, yoga instructors are simply calling out a recipe for your body. Just like when we cook, we take time to prepare and activate certain areas of the body as if they were ingredients to our recipe. Once the extension of the arms and spine are ready, we marry them with the stability and grounding of the trunk and legs. We might even add a little heat as we play with growing ourselves into a Tree pose. And perhaps we’ll find ourselves rising to the occasion.
I’m not sure what this analogy makes me want to do more, bake a cake or do some yoga. Either way, practice on, friends!