the next level
posted: December 10, 2009
Lara challenges herself and gets into a headstand for the first time.
Tonight was a landmark in my yoga practise. I got into a headstand for the first time on my SECOND try. On my FIRST try I enthusiastically flung my sweaty legs into the air. While they made it up to my intended vertical position, my lower body then continued on, collapsing to the right of my Manduka Mat, legs flailing and knocking over the woman in the calm and steady headstand beside me. In the end we both ended up in a heap on our respective mats.
I was mortified. This woman is the yogini with the perfect full lotus I had admired in my last class. I was the newbie who only recently touched her toes without bending my knees. I apologized to sink back into child’s pose and lick my wounded ego.
After the class I turned to her to apologize once more. “Think nothing of it! Ask anyone, we’ve all been there!”, she said to me laughing. Feeling like she was someone that could understand, I explained this feeling that I’ve been having, like I am on the brink of being able to push to that next level in my practise, that I KNOW my body can do it but I just need that extra little support (and room around my mat) to get there.
The woman asked me if I wanted to try again with her help. I said “Yes!”
I set up my arms and placed my head in between them with my new yoga buddy standing by, ready to catch me. I raised my left leg, then right leg halfway up. Feeling confident, I slowly raised them up to vertical once more. I tried! I did it! It felt amazing to do something that had scared me! And I made a new yoga friend!
Tonight I was reminded to not be satisfied with things as they are. If I want to grow as a person, as a yogini, I need to take more risks. I will fall again when I try a headstand, once, twice, likely a whole lot more – but that’s ok. The worst thing that my mind could conceive of happening when I envisioned trying to do a headstand happened tonight. But instead of it being a bad thing, it opened up a door to an opportunity where I made a new friend that helped me to experience my yoga practice at a whole new level of engagement.
What are you afraid of doing? Who do you need to help you get to that next level?