Perhaps you have encountered this in Hatha Yoga practice, or martial arts practice, or any other kind of art/sport practice, maybe. There is a particular pose or sequence that doesn’t appear to favor you much, and you, in turn decide that you don’t care for it either. But there is no avoiding it, and if you encounter fear (or suffering) while doing said pose/sequence, it becomes a bit of a sticky affair… because that negative experience sticks to you, hard. Actually, it isn’t the one sticking to you—you are the one holding on to it because it has now become part of your story.

A skilled teacher may allow you to carry that story for a while but one day, they will come up to you and tell you, DROP THE DAMN THING. Now, you may get terribly peeved at them. They don’t understand you, obviously. They don’t know how awful that experience was, how real and concrete that sensation of fear. How you could feel your legs trembling, breath quivering… and there they are telling you to drop it. As if it were that easy… BAH.

It takes a brave teacher to come say this to their student because it takes only a millisecond for that person to go from a beloved instructor to one “who just doesn’t understand me.” Or, one who is “pushing me.”

Hmmm, I was (maybe) that student but I am now seeing the teacher in a new light.

DROP THE DAMN THING is a concession, really. One day you are able to see that there is no “thing” to be dropped, and in reality, there is “nothing” carried over from your earlier experience of Shoulder Stand to the present one. Such a relief, no?