I nailed my first full expression headstand today. No wall behind me. No bent knees or splits for balance. And no fear. Just determination, practice and plenty of core strength (thank you plank, side plank, boat pose and the many, many crunches!).
I suspect that I’ve been capable of doing this full pose for a while now, so why has it taken me until now to actually do it? When I practice this and other tricky yoga poses at home I often use props or walls to support me as I learn. The wee dent in the wall will attest that I’m brave enough to try things that are still a challenge for me. But when I go to a studio I sometimes find myself holding back and not testing my limits as much as I know I could. Why you might ask? Well my fellow yogis, even your humble yoga teacher can suffer from ego that makes her fear looking like an idiot in a class of her peers. That ego can be a wild beast to tame at times.
It’s difficult to know exactly what shifted to enable me to move to the middle of the room to do my headstand today. I guess I thought it was time to take it to the next level. I’ve practiced and developed the fundamentals of this pose by the safety of the wall, and the yogis in my classes know how I like to get us all working on our core strength; so the last thing to do was to let go of the ego devised fear of failing and falling.
I’m a big believer that in order to grow, we need to do things that make us uncomfortable, maybe even a little (or a lot) scared. Sure sometimes you might fail, don’t think I haven’t fallen on my head more than a few times in crow pose………..but the delight you experience when you finally nail it makes the fear and previous failure (let’s call that experience) all worthwhile.
What have you been working on but are too afraid to take the next step with? Maybe it’s attending your first yoga class, trying that tricky pose, or quitting your job to study; it could be asking that cutie out on a date or perhaps asking your boss for a well-deserved pay rise. Perhaps it's taking the plunge of a perfectly sound bridge (bungy jumping). Whatever it is, do your due diligence and be sure it’s something you truly want and are ready to get, then let your inner yogi look your ego right in the eyes and tell it the fear it’s dreamed up is no longer necessary, you’ve got this. Now just do it!