I came across this video on YogaDork and I thought it was too good not to share. This man wanted to do a handstand and hold it…for THREE seconds. That’s all. And he practiced a lot. And fell out of it a lot. But he kept going. We’re always told that it’s the journey that’s most important, whether it’s our yoga practice or life. And I couldn’t agree more. The first time I got into forearm stand, I thought back to the perseverance and the work I put into getting to that point and it made the moment that much better. I still struggle with the pose but it’s all about the work that you put in. Remember, “there is no such thing as failure. It’s all just PRACTICE for whatever comes next.”
During class, I was attempting forearm stand but for whatever reason, I couldn’t pull my mat as close to the wall as I normally do. I gently kicked my legs up and because I was further away from the wall, which would normally scare the crap out of me, I was able to use my own strength to stabilize myself and stay up. I thought the only way I could do it was with a wall behind me but in reality, the wall was an unnecessary crutch and my legs would hit the wall before I could fully explore my own strength and balance in the posture. Lightbulbs went off and I’ve been practicing my handstands now further away from the wall with similar success!
Shortly after this revelation, I came across the quote above posted on the community wall during my yoga for trade shift. It eloquently summarized what I had been going through with these particular postures, as well as other situations off my mat. So shine on – we all have the most amazing and best version of ourselves within us just waiting to break through. See what you’re capable of doing when you let go of the limitations, fears, doubts, and crutches.
Here is the full variation of the Marianne Williamson quote:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does no serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
So today’s hump day inspiration is more of a reminder for me as I make some pretty big transitions in my life. I’m moving to San Francisco in about 6 weeks (one of the most expensive cities in the US), I’m still unemployed, and recently got engaged. I had a bit of a freak out session and imagined the worse possible case scenario and let it play out in my head over and over again. Clearly, this scenario is made up and unlikely to happen but I couldn’t help myself.
I came across this Yoga Journal blog posting yesterday and felt it was very fitting for all the stress I’ve been putting myself through. I’ve heard and read that all your emotions are rooted in two basic emotions – love and fear. And deep down, I’m definitely fearful. Habits we have in life are definitely cultivated on our mats. Whether it’s a new pose or a change in your life, yoga can teach you a lot about how to navigate your fears. For instance, I’m fearful of allowing myself to reach my full potential. I will never try handstand unless I’m up against a wall. I have a pretty decent control over kicking my legs up but I just won’t do it if I’m not next to something that will catch me. Perhaps my fears of being unemployed for so long are causing me to doubt myself. I feel this is preventing me from seeking out jobs where I can cultivate my full potential and instead am looking for something below my qualifications, thereby limiting the amount of jobs I’m applying to.
This short article has some great tips to help you manage your fears through yoga. Hopefully, I can start incorporating this into my practice as well as off the mat during these big transitions in my life.