On Friday, I went to my first yoga class in a few weeks. I also did a headstand for the first time, with the teacher firmly by my side for support.
It’s funny, because in the last class I went to, I felt incredibly disheartened in my practice — both in my struggle through basic poses and my inability to get arm balances like the headstands. After 6 years of practice, I’ve never been able to master these poses and it’s incredibly frustrating to watch others go into them so effortlessly.
I think a lot of it stems from fear. Fear of falling on my face, fear of breaking my neck. The latter is a fear I’ve always had; as a kid somersaults scared the crap out of me. But this fear is a major impediment to reaching the next level of my yoga.
After failing yet again at reaching the headstand in the last class, I reflected on my fears and made a commitmet to get over it. One of my resolutions for 2010 was going to be achieving a headstand.
And then I promptly forgot about it.
Until Friday. Yet again, I stumbled through most of the class, and then the instructor took us through headstand. I silently screamed at him, remembering the promise I’d made to myself and how quickly it’d left my priorities.
But Friday was different. The instructor set it up over three steps, helping us ease into it. After everyone else came out of the pose and took a child’s pose, I decided to try one more time. Knowing I probably couldn’t fully do it, but maybe I could at least get both feet off the ground for a split second.
Baby steps, right?
As I kicked around, the instructor came up behind me and guided both of my feet off the ground. Suddenly there I was, tightening my core, pressing into my arms, and freaking the f*ck out. I felt that at any moment I could fall, but I knew he was there and that between the two of us, I could stay balanced.
It was only a few seconds, but it was literally the best few seconds of my week. I came into my child’s pose and I’d be lying if I denied the few tears of joy that trickled out.
I can’t wait to try again — this time all by myself. I know what I need to work on and most importantly, I know that I can do it.
This really was just the kick in the pants I needed to boot my yoga apathy out the door.