The Headstand

Tuesday night I went to Justin’s yoga class @ my Crunch as per usual, or at least my more recent usual. I was rushing in b/c my work day was crazy & it went a little bit late, so I had to work a little harder to focus. Our first series of poses went pretty quickly and I found it challenging but I pressed on and kept it up. The class is 90 minutes and after an hour, Justin said we were going to be doing headstands. I had an idea we’d be doing head stands b/c we did a lot of dolphin earlier, which is the set-up. For a variety of reasons, I’ve never done full inversions. I just didn’t feel like I had the upper body strength, and it’s a little scary, b/c you could fall and/or break your neck.

For some reason this time, I decided to go for it. I don’t know what came over me, but there I was, in my dolphin pose, against the wall, walking my feet up and up until my back was against the wall. All of a sudden, there I was, up against the wall, on my head. ON MY HEAD. Shocking. I was so amazed. I stayed up there for a bit and then came down. It was so freaking cool. I felt so invincible & empowered. All the core work I do paid off.

I’ve written several times about how I see yoga & pilates as spiritual practices. In addition to the correlation b/t the breath & the spirit, in pilates, the core is what is important to strengthen and all movement is originated from the core. I see the core as the Holy Spirit as well as the breath. When we try to move without the strength or guidance of the Spirit, the movements are, at best, less effective and, at worst, detrimental. The core is what allowed me to do the headstand, the thing I didn’t think I could do.

I like to think of myself as a fairly self-aware person. In fact, according to the description of my Meyers-Briggs type (INTJ) “They are often acutely aware of their own knowledge and abilities—as well as their limitations and what they don’t know. INTJs thus develop a strong confidence in their ability and talents, making them natural leaders.” The definition of humility is having an accurate view of oneself. That’s what I’m going for. But in all my self-awareness and desire for accuracy, I still seem to err on the side of caution & limitation. That’s pretty human – I’m not a special case.

After I did the head stand, I wanted to stay in that moment. I didn’t want to do more poses, perhaps poses that were a struggle. I wanted to marinate in my headstand victory. As Justin kept going with the class, I was thinking, “Yes, but I just did a headstand. Can we all just focus on that for a moment?” Following my headstand, I had a hard time staying present in the rest of the poses, which is the point of yoga. I think it’s awesome & essential to celebrate victories, but at some point you do have to move forward to new victories. I just wasn’t ready yet, and by the end of the class, I was slightly less ecstatic.

I’ve got stuff going on right now for which I needed a boost of confidence, and this gave me the shot I needed. It’s not something I can discuss publicly, but suffice it to say, it’s both exciting & daunting. I have lots of work to do in order for this to become a reality, but I’m going to do my best. It’s a lot, but, let’s not forget…I just did a headstand.

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