Conquering The Handstand Series #2
Blue October-Jump Rope– my theme song for today…enjoy! Life is like a jump rope.
Today was tough. I just could not get out of my own way! Justin said that “the mind is the hardest muscle to exercise.” I was just not in the right mindset today and I felt as if that interfered with my progress. He reminded us that whether we did a handstand or not, that moment was over and we needed to let it go. That is the hardest part of life…letting go of the thoughts that “haunt” us. This is something I have been personally working on. Often times our minds travel elsewhere…and then gets stuck there. Our mindset-how we internalize each moment-is the biggest obstacle to truly feeling happiness in the moment. Our mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy.
I started the class feeling defeated and throughout the class I felt myself giving up. Once I started down that path, my body became stuck as well. It felt as if I had taken 5 steps back. My body felt super heavy as if there were a load of bricks keeping me from getting air when I hopped up. The bricks were not really there, I created them in my mind.
Don’t get me wrong-I felt challenged. Class was hard and I did a lot of good work. We are our own worst critic. My body felt exhausted. I probably even made progress even though I did not feel it. Justin had us go through a series of strength exercises moving from planks to side planks. Man that was hard. I thought it would never end. My body was getting stronger at that moment. I still tried to laugh. Justin made sure to remind us several times to have fun with it.
Tracy told me that “yoga is about expanding the body outward.” I have always been very “rigid’ with both my mind and my body. Years of social conditioning make it difficult to let go of how we perceive the world. This whole process for me is a way of changing that conditioning, and expanding my mind, body and spirit.
Before leaving the yoga room a nice gentleman next to me stopped me and said “I could not even get myself up onto the wall last year. I was stuck too, and having a hard time progressing. Then I saw this lady who had a spinal injury, and she was very fearful of doing a handstand. I watched her give it everything she had and get herself all the way up. I was able to do it the very next time! You never know when your moment will come. Something might inspire you and then it will just happen!” He also reminded me that he has been working it at for over a year. I am on week 2 of doing something my body has never done before.
At the end of class my friend Tracy looked at me and said “let it go” and she was right. What good does holding on to negative feelings do for you? No good. So why hold on to them? That seems to be what we do best. After holding onto years after years of bad feelings, we can get to feeling pretty heavy inside. Being in the moment is not possible when you have so many other moments stuck on your brain. Let’s “un-stick” ourselves!
*I will have an upcoming blog post on meditation and how it helps us to experience and then let go of our feelings, allowing us to grow. I will also discuss some misconceptions about meditating, and how it is not out of reach for us!
Special thanks to my friend Melanie from Out of Eden Images for the pictures!