I kinda pride myself a little on facing the fears that come on my path. I have conquered a lot in my life, especially in the past seven years ~ a divorce, my daughter’s depression, living separately from my son, financial woes, etc. I don’t pretend to be perfect, some days are more challenging than others, even when living a spiritual way of life. I am a soul having human experiences, so naturally there are times when I kick and scream. In the form of large scribbly words in my journal to out loud screaming and sometimes even directly to my guides. Of course, of course there is apologizing! Because after my temper tantrum is over and I take some deep breaths, calm myself down I know that what is on the other side of that fear is peacefulness and a survivor.
After years of practicing yoga at home using the Wii Fit program and an occasional amazing restorative yoga class with one of my besties, I recently decided to join a yoga studio. I’ve been feeling drawn to bring myself even further into the yoga practice of balancing, calming and peacefulness instead of the rigors of a gym. And now that the arthritis in my knees is just about completely gone, I’m happy that I can once again do poses such as the tree, warrior and sun salute.
I have been trying several different classes, some Gentle Flow, some Foundations 1, testing out the strength in my knees, legs, arms and wrists. In the last two classes I had moments I thought I had walked into the wrong classroom. In the first class the instructor informed us that we were going to do a pose that we have done a million times before…just not in 30 or 40 years.
“And by the way…I teach this pose at the retirement community…to 80 year olds. AND they do it!” he said.
“Oh well, if they do it, OF COURSE I can do it.” I quietly said in my head.
Then he proceeded to show us how to do a front tumble where we would end up with our buttocks in between two blocks and our legs climbing the wall.
In today’s class, the instructor wanted us to do headstands as our buttocks were at the edge of the chair.
This is how you begin the pose.
Then she wanted us to raise our hips and legs one by one and rotate them above and behind us so that our feet were touching a chair behind us.
I couldn’t find a picture with a chair, but this is how
the legs and feet land on the chair.
“I’m sorry, can I just leave now? I’m obviously not in Foundations 1.” I said in my head. Of course I knew I couldn’t actually leave, because that would look silly. You can’t just walk out of the class in the middle of it.
Now I know to some of you, especially my yogi teacher friends, this is like going for a walk in the park. But to me this was frightening. Frightening like I was going back on the Stratosphere Big Shot. Oh yes I did…and I plead momentary insanity. But I survived.
As I got myself adjusted at the end of the chair I started giggling. Giggling at myself that I found fear in this. Fear. True fear. This I wanted to walk away from. But everything else that I have conquered I pretty much hit head on like a fighting bull chasing the red flag. Giggling at the thought of, “What could possibly happen? Your butt and legs fall one foot to the wood floor?” I calmly said to myself, “Doing this pose is not going to make you dig deep and find the root of some issue that you need to process, or transmute a limiting belief, heal your inner child (except remind her that she can still do these things!) and it’s certainly not going to tug at your heart strings.”
So with the help of the yoga instructor I did it. And every second I became more and more proud of myself and stronger and stronger. And when it was over I was proud of myself, just as proud as I was when I conquered my other fears.
There’s a great feeling in removing the ‘dis’ from discomfort, removing the fear and finding comfort and strength.