Monday, June 9, 2008

How Not Doing a Handstand Still Counts as Practicing Yoga

Handstand is a really important teacher for me. Sometimes I can do it; most of the time I can’t. In a yoga class recently the teacher indicated that we were going to do handstand and I noticed that a primal response of fear took over my whole body. I didn’t do handstand that day. Instead I just paid attention to that feeling. I played with it while everyone did their variation of the pose. I just felt my fear. I felt happy because I had finally noticed what was really holding me back from doing the pose. And because I could finally label that feeling as 'fear' rather than 'inadequacy.'

Sarah’s here from Boulder, the teacher training is only four days away, I finally cracked open the Bhagavad Gita and I actually like it, and my energy and excitement is starting to flow back into my life like a stream of fairy dust.

How are we supposed to relate to our own emotions? I’m noticing that I tend to get completely taken over by them and then I can’t enjoy them, good or bad. That non-handstand was so revolutionary for me because I enjoyed that fear. So my next question is, is it possible to notice the fear and do the pose anyway?

Last night I did manage to kick up and do a handstand against the wall of my apartment, twice. The first time my arms buckled slowly and I landed on my head. Sarah was there and we laughed at the horror and humor of it. The second time I kicked up and stayed up for a couple shocked seconds in which I looked at the upside down room around me and waited for the pose to enlighten me. So I know I can do it, in a carefree environment completely free of things that trigger my self-consciousness and overthinking.

Listening to Fleetwood Mac, “I’ve been afraid of changes…time makes you bolder, even children get older and I'm gettin' older too.”

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