Tag Archives: inversions

Why my blue wall is my BFF

25 Mar

We have a navy blue wall in the living room which looks rad. Once I figured out how to use a photo timer app on my phone, I started looking for places for photo-ops for Instagram. Hello blue wall. It didn’t take too long for it to become a key piece of my practice at home.

I’m really hooked on inversions because they don’t lie. I can’t fake a headstand/handstand. If I’m frazzled, distracted and can’t quiet my mind, I’ll fall. If my shoulders aren’t strong enough to support me in a new pose, I’ll fall. If I’m fearful of what I’m trying and can’t let go of that fear, I’ll fall.

I keep practicing them with my blue wall every day though. Practice makes progress.

I’m reasonably comfortable with headstands away from the wall… but handstands? I get that flash of cold fear/adrenaline saying “OMG YOU’RE GOING TO FALL BACKWARDS!” and “OMG I NEED TO DO MORE PLANKS!” Oh, brain, hush up already. Each time I try, the voices quiet for a few more seconds. But isn’t that part of why we practice yoga? To find our balance, to quiet our mind, and to learn that we’re stronger than we think, we’re capable of more than we know.

Before I ever put my hands flat on the ground for a handstand, I started by working on dolphin pose then walking my feet up the wall. It’s still kind of awkward. I feel like my shoulders and upper arms are being twisted open against what my joints want to do, not just a big stretch. Maybe that will get easier. My legs were still up a little high… staying in a comfort zone to fight the fear of falling.

"Dolphin up the wall" (?)

“Dolphin up the wall” (?)

Just last week I tried downward dog then walking up the wall. Seeing photos of my poses give me moments to 1) be proud of the progress I’ve made, and 2) objectively see what is working and what room for growth there is … i.e., not making a scrunchy-freaked-out-face and bending my knees still.

Handstand prep, using the wall

Handstand prep, using the wall

It’s a lesson in the balance of my internal practice and the external form. I know that text-book-form isn’t what it’s all about. But I know that as a newbie, not learning bad habits in the basic asanas will be harder to unlearn in the future as I try new things. So I breathe to stay in the moment and in my body. And I take a little time to be objective about what I need more focus on.. and about the progress I have already made. Both of the poses above are hard for me to find ease in. But my blue wall will help get me through it 🙂

Peace out!

Flip your perspective

21 Mar
First inversion attempt ever

First inversion attempt ever

This is a photo of my first inversion attempt last fall. Oh the things we fearlessly did as kids. If we fell, we laughed. We hurdled ourselves down grassy hills intentionally so that we’ll roll at 30 mph and almost barf. We wore our skinned knees as badges of honor. Well, maybe not all girls did, but I was kind of a hot mess like that.

OK, cut to last fall. I follow all of these masterful yogis on Instagram doing crazy inversions, and I thought “I should really post something other than me doing downward dog.” So I gave myself some sort of weird pep-talk a la Rocky, and went for it. It looks so simple in retrospect, but it was one of those first defining moments.

“I’m upside down. I did this, I did this. Wow my head kinda hurts. I’m so… proud… of myself.” Then I think I tried doing a full headstand against the wall and almost smooshed the nosy cat. Baby steps. Upside down baby steps.

Peace out!

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