The Grunt



“Before the grace, there’s grunt – you have to put in the work.”

Dena Kingsberg

Every now and then, I like to refer back to this quote by our one and only Dena Kingsberg. This gives me a reminder that we don’t go from 0 to 100% in a matter of days, or weeks, or even sometimes years (and perhaps never). We have to work at it incessantly (abhyasa) we have to put in the effort without attachments (vairagya ).

I have gone through, and am still going through, the grunt  phase of eka pada sirsasana, dwi pada sirsasana , and yoga nidrasana . It’s been more than 1.5 years since my first try of eka pada sirsasana , and now there are still days when I just absolutely dread the series of postures that requires me to put my legs behind the head.

And recently came the infamous karandavasana . I am doing more than my fair shares of grunts–grunting on the way down and grunting coming back up. I can’t seem to either 1) drop my knees in towards my triceps without my knees free-falling down, or 2) prevent myself from falling face flat while trying to come up. And these are all with assistance. Come this asana, my bandhas just seem run the other way.


Source: The Yoga Comics

Bottom line: If you are currently working on an asana that refuses to be worked at, keep Ms. Kingsberg in mind. Once you’ve accumulated enough grunt, there will be grace.


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