Happy Saturday world! Following on from my post yesterday about finding time in your life to play, I wanted to bring the concept back to the yoga mat to encourage you to begin to explore your practice with a sense of curiosity and lightheartedness. This is something I’m really interested in and is a real focus in my classes at the moment.
We spend our whole lives trying to ‘achieve’, to strive, to push . Think back to your last yoga class … how did you feel when you fell out of that balance, when you spied the girl next to you with her leg effortlessly behind her head? Was there a sense of defeat, of frustration, or a feeling that you’re just ‘no good at yoga’ … something us yoga teachers hear all the time by the way.
Give yourself a break!!!! You turned up didn’t you? You’re on your mat, right? Now pat yourself on the back, turn the corners of your mouth up just a little, and let’s look at the bigger picture…
By allowing yourself to explore your body without inhibitions, to mess up … and be ok with messing up, we begin to detach ourselves from the pursuit of perfection (a dangerous little thing!). Watch as that frustration and doubt dissolves and your practice starts to become joyful and fun. After all, and let’s be frank … we’re not going to reach spiritual enlightenment when we can do a handstand 😉 There you go, I said it (yoga police shoot me down) for me at least, the mastering of postures means diddly squat … we’re practicing yoga not contortionism.
Of course the feeling you get when you’re finally able to reach the floor in uttanasana or when you press up into your first wheel is incredible, as my wonderful teacher Julie says … If you’re here just to master a handstand, go to gymnastics class. There is a reason for practicing challenging inversions in yoga, and it’s not just for physical gains. They help us to develop tenacity, courage, determination and that all important sense of play.
It’s not about getting into it that handstand … It’s what you learn on the way up 😉