Special thanks to Leah for this honest guest blog today!
Ugh….handstands!?!? That was my exact thought when I started in Level 6 about 1 ½ years ago.
I had not been a gymnast growing up, I was not particularly comfortable being upside down, all combined with moving into Level 6….ugh HANDSTANDS!
I’m not going to lie; the entire session of handstands was not easy for me. I was easily frustrated that the handstands did not come easily to me, especially coming after the combos of Level 5 which I loved so much! Cathy would say encouraging things like “this one took me awhile to learn” or “in time this too will happen”. I would watch the other girls get into the handstands and think “ahimsa”, I would have a really rough night and think “prikriti”, I got to the end of the session and had not completed any of the handstands, and I was annoyed and frustrated.
Fast forward 1 year, I’d now been through the entire curriculum of Level 6, had good days and not so good days, enjoyed some sessions more than others, but overall had a really great time…and then handstands came around for a second time.
Was I excited to see that again, ummm, no! But I did come to class with a pair of fresh eyes and some optimism that after a year of Level 6 I would be stronger, not the new girl in class anymore, a little more experienced and would be more successful.
Throughout the session I was pleasantly surprised that I could actually do the handstands, even the tricky Descending Dancer into a handstand, which I actually really love now! I had gained a lot of strength during the year of Level 6 which made the handstands easier for sure and with more success also came some confidence, which improved my attitude as well. It was during that session that Cathy deemed me a graduate of Level 6 and I moved onto Level 7.
I think it’s important to realize that we are participating in Yoga Flirt as a means of exercise and fun for sure, but also for a good dose of the principles of yoga. There is much to be said for the practice of yoga, the ability to find stillness, focus and maybe even mastery.
On the pole, it’s no different. Some topics are easier than others, some days are easier than others, but like everything else, it’s a practice. Not a practice that you should identify your self worth in or let your ego get too wrapped up in it; recognize that just practicing the moves, using the lessons that we are being taught, noticing that it’s not always going to be easy, there lies success.
There is still one handstand I have not done yet, the handstand that you kick up into at the pole. I’ll be honest, it makes me nervous, but I’m going to think my happy thoughts, find some quietness in my mind (my biggest struggle by far) and set out to do something exciting as we all dive into handstands….again!
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