Moving In

Whether you're in the middle of your daily yoga practice or on vacation you'll have times when you come up against some sort of internal resistance. Maybe you're afraid of heights so sky diving or venturing out onto the skywalk at the grand canyon are out of the question. Me, swim with sharks? Are you crazy? How about going upside down or getting into an arm balance you've never tried? Did I just hear you say *pfft*?

Inversions, arm balances, and feats of flexibility commonly cause people to throw up a wall around themselves, tighten their muscles, become irritable, and close up their heart. None of that is helpful. One of my teacher trainers said that everyone can do handstands at a wall - but not everyone will. I have seen firsthand that this is 100% true. That resistance that rises up inside from fear or preconceptions about yourself is very powerful. It apparently makes gravity about a million times more effective.

When resistance arises during your life - stare it straight in the face and move into it. Soften your outer body, open your heart, take a deep breath and do it (whatever it is) anyway. Moving into resistance, into fear, is difficult and takes practice to become a natural behavior. My yoga practice has taught me that admitting my fear, frustration, or all out dread of something - and then doing it anyway - usually proves me wrong and I finish the day feeling better. Feeling powerful, courageous, and lighter in my heart-space.

There was a time when I hated handstands. I wrote it down - so it must have been true. I absolute loathed them... but my favorite teacher kept asking me to do them. Over and over and over and over. So I did them... and tried not to show to the whole world how pissed off I was when I fell out of it a million times. Eventually all that frustration melted away... now I do them every single day. I'm still not where I'd like to be (pressing straight up from a forward bend in the middle of the room) but I'm doing it and resistance is nowhere to be seen.

When you get the chance to swim with sharks - throw out the fact that you're terrified of deep water and jump in. When someone asks you to do an arm balance you struggle with - quickly make your peace with the fact that you might face plant in front of everyone (twice) and try - they'll commend your efforts. No one gets it perfect all the time.  No matter what it is... sky diving, tiger-cuddling, divorce, moving, that weird stinky fruit your friend suggested, forearm stands - shake the resistance off your shoulders and open your heart to the possibility that this could turn out to be awesome.

(Well, maybe you should keep your distance from the tigers)

3 comments:

DK said...

I used to be able to... I guess I still technically could but my shoulder would probably dislocate... so I reeeeeally don't wanna ;p

Cat said...

Wow...what an accomplishment! Very inspiring indeed. :)

cabin + cub said...

Wow.. that is amazing. I won't attempt ay of these moves until the pregnancy is over.. and even then... i think i would be very unsuccessful.
still at the beginner yoga stage. ;)