Last weekend I went to an amazing Arm Balances and Inversions workshop. I love playing around with “circus tricks” as I call them- it’s fun! I was excited to learn something new.
Funny enough, the day before the workshop I suffered a little crisis of confidence. Thoughts running through my head went something like this:
“Handstand! I’ll never be able to do it! I will have to just sit there and watch!” “Everyone there will be young and muscly!” “I’m old!” “I’m not bendy enough!” “I’m old!” etc etc in a lovely little repeating circle.
Compounding that was the fact that I was labelling myself “irrational” because the two people running the workshop, Emma and Melissa, I know and trust.
Luckily the practice of yoga has taught me some tools, not just physical, but for my mental well-being as well. I worked it through…
First of all, I stopped judging myself for worrying. I think we all feel a certain degree of mental discomfort when we step outside our boundaries and challenge them.
Then the morning of the workshop, I practiced yoga at a class beforehand. I set as my intention “letting go” of all the ego, striving, perfectionism,and grasping that had taken hold and set me up in that circular pattern. This process is part of aparigraha – it’s one of the yamas, the ethical principals of yoga. I let go by tuning into the present moment- my body, my breathing, just me on my mat, doing my thing. All I really needed was to get moving to get out of my mind and into my body.
Letting go of all the worrying allowed me to have a great time at the workshop, to laugh, try everything, and have fun. I came out feeling confident, strong, and pretty worn out-in a good way.
Did I do a handstand? No! But I did the prep pose and it felt great. Did I do arm balances I’ve never done before? You bet. Did I feel old? NO. I just felt like me, and I liked how that felt.