Last night, I enjoyed a personal triumph. I was able to hold my body up off the ground for at least two seconds in a crow position hand stand. Basically, it’s where you put your hands flat on the floor shoulder distance apart and rest your knees on your triceps, gradually shifting your weight off of your toes until you’re completely airborne with only your hands on the floor. It’s called an inversion in yoga, because you’re inverting your body to be upside-down. Before last night, I was not able to do it. I didn’t understand the mechanics of it, I didn’t think I was strong enough, and I didn’t see how this much of me could possibly be up in the air.
Last night, it clicked.
Something about the way the instructor told us to position our hands and feet helped me, but also a determination to keep trying. I had gone back to reading my pocket Buddhist text, and it just does something to my mind that allows me to be more comfortable in who I am. It really advocates embracing yourself and all your feelings and being fully present in the moment.
That was my “intention” last night – to be fully present for the entire class. I wasn’t 100% successful with that, my mind occasionally straying, but I was able to really listen to what the instructor said, getting into the flow of the vinyasa and anticipating the next move, which is key to moving as fast as this chick takes us. I finally let go of “not being able” of “not knowing what I’m doing” and just paid attention to what was going on around me and with my body.
Now, was I perfect? Did I do every move? Did I have perfect timing? No, no, and no. But I did feel more empowered. And I think that really helped me get up in the air.
I felt so good about it, that I had to share with my husband when I got home. His response was guardedly supportive. In that, “That’s wonderful! But what do you mean?” sort of way. So I had to show him what I meant. And then he *was* impressed.
Today, I feel it in my muscles, the tinge of pain, the reminder that I pushed the envelope. It hurts just a little, but more than anything, it makes me feel as though I have strength. It has helped me feel capable and positive all day long, even with the levels of crazy that get thrown at me.
In a way, I’m glad that I don’t have a yoga class tonight. I know I need some time for my muscles to repair themselves and to rest, but I really want to do it again. And again.
And part of the cool thing about my impression of the Buddhist stuff is that when you have a personal triumph, when you experience a success, you should share – you should breathe out that sense of accomplishment to make the world around you better. It kind of makes sense, too. When you’re around people who are happy for having done something good, your whole outlook is happier. When you’re around pessimistic people, you feel like it’s a real downer.
So there is strength in success.