How long can you stand in a horse straddle squat?
Ten or fifteen minutes into the pose, it begins to feel extremely difficult. The longer you stand that way, the more energy it feels like it takes. Leg muscles begin to get sore. Sweat starts dripping off of your body.
Now let’s make one small adjustment that will make holding the pose vastly easier.
Notice where in your body you are resisting the pose. Conduct a personal inquiry into the resistance in your own body. Allow that resistance to dissolve.
This isn’t an intellectual exercise. You actually have to do the pose and then do the work. Intellectually searching for resistance in your body is kind of like intellectually enjoying sex. Interesting but, well, not the same. Feeling your body, now that’s the thing. Get into your body and feel for the resistance.
Spread your legs as if you are riding a very fat horse. Keep feet parallel. Bend the knees deeply. Keep knees over the ankles. Spine straight. Head straight looking forward. Breathe in through your nose, exhale with relaxation out through your mouth.
Allow yourself to breathe naturally. Don’t do any controlled type of forced breathing.
Allow your pelvic floor, the muscles below your groin to relax and drop.
Then begin to notice. Is the pose difficult to hold? Is it easy?
I noticed that at moments the pose was extremely difficult to hold for me. Then, later, at other moments the pose was very easy to hold. All the while, I attempted to stay inside of the inquiry of “where in my body am I resisting this pose?” The more that I was able to let go of resistance, the easier the pose became.
This little exercise has led me to a broader line of investigation. Now I am attempting to ongoingly watch to see when and where in my body I am resisting life. What I have noticed is that more than half of my daily life force is expended resisting life as it arises. I resist people and situations. I resist pain sensations. I resist traffic. I resist my own body in so many different ways.
I notice that my thoughts are often a form of the resistance. Who is that person walking over to me? What the hell do they want? Why are they dressed like that? etc.
Yes, when I notice my thoughts, I am thinking about those thoughts. But when I really want to go deeper, I notice that the “thinking” is showing up in my body. I cringe. I hide myself in tiny, subtle little ways. The muscles in my pelvic floor are tight. My breathing is restrictive. My gut is tight.
Do my thoughts cause the constrictive motions and sensations in my body? Or does the constriction in my body cause the thoughts?