Upside down and looking like pretzels, that’s what today was all about. A was with us ALL day (poor guy!) working with inversions and arm balances in the morning and then coordinating the teaching and assisting in the afternoon. The workshop this morning went a long way to dispelling my terror over inversions. Shoulder stand is all fine and good, but handstand, headstand, etc… scare the beejeezes out of me. The fear of inversions comes from a long-held, deep-rooted fear that my body is not strong enough to support itself. I just ::know:: that if I try it, I’ll break my own neck because I’m too weak to do things like that. As we neared the point in the morning when we would break into smaller groups to teach and spot each other, I could feel the panic rising. This was not going to be good.
When we finally broke into small groups, with the gentle and generous help of a fellow student, (and many other encouraging words from fellow students,) I slowly made my way up into tripod, the beginning post for tripod headstand. Thankfully I had someone holding my hips and low back to keep me in position, else I don’t think I would have even made it that far. And I definitely didn’t breathe. But I made it for a little bit! It wasn’t quite so terrifying, though I still have a long way to go in trusting my own body’s strength and ability to go upside down. It’s definitely a goal – to someday come up, unsupported into a headstand. I’ve conquered wheel and crow: headstand is next!
Arm balances were amazing! Crow and sidecrow rocked my world and I loved learning some of the others. I packed my camera this morning, too, and got some fun shots of fellow yogis trying out these new poses. Some of the balances were really challenging, but it was so inspiring to look around the room and see where people were suceeding. What a talented, strong and flexible bunch we all are! I am so proud of my fellow students and their ability to get into and hold these poses.
The late morning, afternoon and evening was all teaching, with the full flow broken up into four sections, with a new teacher for each section. Each section also had two assistants. I got to assist twice today and it was awesome! Got some great feedback and learned a lot about how and when to touch people. For the most part, everyone who assisted did a great job. The downward dog assists are still a little awkward for me since it’s usually my thighs that get pulled back and up and not my hips, but perhaps I have weird hips or they’re hard to find. ::shrug:: Either way, I love being adjusted and got a happy little thrill every time someone adjusted me. It’s like when you can already do something pretty well, like ride a bike, and then someone comes along and shows you how to race down a mountainside on our bike. That’s what adjustments feels like. In my regular practice I’m riding a bike at a fairly good pace, but then with the adjustments, the extra opening, the encouragement and support, suddenly I’m in the Tour de France.
With the exception of a lame-ass elbow injury which hindered my evening practice, I would categorize today as one of the best days ever. Acknowledging a fear, taking steps to overcome it, learning something new and further connecting with my classmates in a fun and energetic atmosphere made today one for the books.
Time to drift off into Yoga Land (thanks N for the awesome phrase!)
If you’re wondering how I feel about tomorrow being the last day, well, I’m taking it like Scarlet O’Hara: “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”