For me one of the most frustrating things about yoga is that you can’t push or force yourself into a posture. You have to relax and let it happen or you’ll just tense up and won’t get anywhere. For me it’s even worse with balancing postures and inversions as I will also fall over the moment I start trying really hard. This has been a major barrier to my inversion progress as the longer it takes me to get my headstand, handstand and forearm stands looking anywhere decent the more frustrated I get and the less likely it is to happen!
After what seems like months of unsuccessful attempts to get into handstand or forearm stand I think (touch wood) that I might finally have worked out the trick. No trying so hard. I turned up at yoga last week frankly knackered. It had been a very long and stressful day at work and all I really wanted to do was have a little nap. I was too tired to put much thought into what I was doing and just concentrated on the instructions from my teacher. I hadn’t been the previous week so all my concentration was taken up with keeping my slightly resistant muscles from making me wobble. So, when we started on forearm stand, rather than spending time worrying that I wouldn’t be able to do it, I just had a go. We were doing partner work and I was shocked when I managed to kick my legs up high enough for my partner to catch them and, though I needed to be supported and my alignment wasn’t exactly textbook, I managed to hold the posture and fall out with something approaching poise! Though a tiny achievement for some this has been a huge breakthrough for me and I left the class in the most upbeat post yoga mood I have felt in quite some time. I suspect this was also aided by the short meditation our teacher included at the end.
The mind is a very naughty thing though and by the time this week’s class came around I’d convinced myself that it was just a fluke. So when we started to practice our handstand I wasn’t feeling too hopeful. But I got myself next to the wall and kicked up as hard as I could. I was thrilled when I kicked up high enough for my teacher to catch my legs (she’s very encouraging so I suspect that she helped me out with the last part and yanked me up a bit…..). It may have been wobbly and assisted by both the wall and my teacher supporting me but I couldn’t have been more pleased if I’d done it all by my self in the middle of the room!
I’m feeling excited about my future progress and hope that this the start of great leaps forward to come!