Often, we can get so caught up in reaching the destination, that we forget to have fun along the way.
In yoga, we sometimes have this idea in our heads of a 'perfect' pose that we want to achieve.
For example, there are some who think "one day, I'll be able to do a handstand".
But when they actually get to pull that handstand, even though there's a real buzz in that first moment when they are balancing on their hands for those few seconds, the feeling of achievement is not quite as great as they'd imagined. Bummer.
I remember being in a class that was dedicated to handstands. I was so scared of falling that I probably only got my 'lifting' foot an inch off the ground. I tried and I tried! I got hot, flustered and felt like a failure. Then some time later, in another class with a handstand focus, with the help of a classmate, I got braver and actually lifted off! Oh my goodness, it was amazing. In. That. Moment.
Now, I'll throw my hands down at any given moment and do a handstand . . . just because I love being upside down. I look back and remember the feeling of trepidation, effort, and fear of embarrassment. I didn't appreciate what a brave step I was taking. At the time, I didn't take note of what I was feeling and enjoy the fact that I was getting myself out of my comfort zone, out of my own way, despite the fact it was a bit scary. I didn't enjoy the journey.
We do it in life too. As you know, my husband Greg and I are building our home together in Peka Peka. Well, I can tell you that we've learnt SO MUCH in the last two weeks. And some of the stuff has been a bit stressful, expensive and disappointing. My darling husband reminds me, however, that this is supposed to be something we are doing together that is fun. So instead of allowing ourselves to feel stressed (yes, it's a choice), we are looking at this as an adventure. We learn by our mistakes. We try not to get hung up on the things we don't like. And we choose to see these things as just another step along the way to getting into our new home. My friends, we are enjoying the journey, warts and all!
I encourage you to look at your wobbles, your stumbles, your 'oh my god this is hard' moments, and choose to enjoy them.
Enjoy the fact that you are trying! Notice where you are feeling stronger, longer and more stable. Extend yourself without fear of 'failure'. There is no such thing.
The simple fact that you are trying is an achievement, a success in it's own right.
I have to tell you that I came home after both classes this week absolutely buzzing that each and every one of you who is physically capable of doing this pose gave it a go! And some of you nailed it first time! For those of you who didn't and feel bad about it, start reading from the top again.
If you want to practice at home, remember these things:
hands are grounded and fingers are spread, with a gripping sensation in your peace fingers;
hands are placed slightly wider than shoulder width;
elbows are over wrists when you come up;
elbows are pointing backwards to avoid collapsing your weight into your wrists;
visualise sucking your core right up into your spine and dome up through your shoulder blades;
keep your knees away from your elbows, by coming up onto your tiptoes, lifting your hips high and adjusting your hands so your knees are touching your triceps before you take one toe, then the other off the floor;
look ahead about 1 metre!
be ready to tuck your chin and roly poly;
and have fun!
I've been doing a bit of driving this week. Two day trips to Whanganui and also to Palmerston North. I find that I get a 'crick' in my neck and my lower back really aches after a while. It's really uncomfortable.
You know how I always remind you to roll your shoulders down your back ribs?Well, I'd forgotten to practice what I preach. So on my final trip home this week, I made my car seat more upright so that the back of my head touched the head rest and then I consciously broadened my collarbones and lowered my shoulder blades. What a difference it made! I threw in a few seated cat/cows for good measure too.
The healthy physical alignment and posture you gain from becoming aware of what you are doing with your body can really make a difference in your daily life.
Take care in this weather folks. I'll look forward to seeing you all again next week as we continue our journey together learning about the beautiful practice of yoga.