Saturday, October 6, 2012

How do I celebrate a yoga 'victory'?

For over a year I've been wanting to do a certain yoga move - Salamba Sirsasana - supported headstand. This move more than any other represents yoga to me, in every possible way. It's beautiful to look at, and I was sure it would be beautiful to do.

However, at first, I approached this move with the mindset "I WILL CONQUER YOU!"  Once again, I'm lucky I didn't hurt myself much worse than I did - as I mentioned back in February and then again in May.

Truly, I learned my lesson and decided to take it slowly, allow my body to adjust to each step, and to be happy where I was at that moment.

Here is my journey, as documented in pictures!  Yes, it is me in each picture, and in each pose, that is just as far as I can go on that day.

(3/12)  Partial weight on shoulders

(5/12) Full weight on shoulders, knees pulled up

(7/12) Full weight on shoulders, knees parallel to the floor

(8/12) Full weight on shoulders, legs as far up as they will go and still balance.

(9/12) Up, but barely balanced

(10/12) Balanced, still, toes spread. Full expression of the pose

So, is it everything I thought it would be back in February? Yes and no. The first time I actually achieved the pose, I didn't even notice for about 45 seconds. But it was a slice of heaven. The world around settled into the background, my breath came in long, slow waves, and I actually went into a semi-meditative state. But not a "HOORAY!" moment at all.

What I'm most proud about is not the pose itself, but that it developed slowly - at my inner teacher's speed, not my inner drill sergeant's speed. Such a difference.

I learned so much about myself by learning how to do this pose in this way.  

I discovered I can be:


to myself.

That's a good thing. So very, very good. 

Why not apply this to my whole life?  What would that look like? 

What if I were:  

 patient with my weight loss
 loving when it's time to fuel the body 
kind when I make yet another mistake 
gentle when I'm tired.

to myself. 

Just do it. And then find the peace that comes every day by being in the moment.


Thoughts to take with me today: Yoga = life, every time.


  1. I actually read this right after you posted it, but wasn't able to comment at the time so I could congratulate you! I remember reading one of your first posts about how badly you wanted to be able to do this pose and how you struggled with wanting to push yourself. Love the patience and control you're learning, as well as the strength you've gained - you look fabulous, and should be so proud of both your physical and spiritual muscles!

  2. Caroline, you sweet thing...thank you for your lovely comment. Can I say that one of the highlight of my summer was meeting you. I hope I'll have that honor again -- loves