Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Face your fears...

I teach yoga, but when it comes to my own asana practice, I find that there are definite walls that I have put up when it comes to certain poses. My teacher always says, "You have to be willing to fall on your face." This mantra is one that I often repeat to my students now. It always gets a laugh and usually helps people forget their fears, somewhat, and give it a try. As much as I've said this and heard this, I feel like I am not willing. I have tried to face those fears.

In practicing forearm stand, I have collapsed into my shoulder more than once because of my elbow starting to wing out, causing me to have some shoulder issues on and off. For this reason, I definitely tend to stay away from this pose in more recent days.

Well, that is, until a couple weeks ago.

Some students in class one morning wanted some help working on forearm stand and handstand. I showed them step by step instructions on how to practice getting into these poses and encouraged them to try. While they were resettling on their mats, excited and invigorated from being upside down, one of my students asked if we could work on those types of things more in the new year.

That was when it hit me. My own fears had led me to skip over teaching these types of poses that make ME feel uncomfortable, even though my students may be eager to try them out!

That's no good. So, this week, I wrapped a strap around my arms just above the elbows to help keep my elbows and shoulders in line (which I should have been doing the whole time), and worked on forearm stand.

It felt good.

I tried getting up several times and when my shoulder started to ache, I stopped. But, I tried. That belt really helped.

I tried!!

That wall of fear is still there, but it's starting to crumble and it feels good.

I would like to thank all of my students who always inspire me and teach me every single time they come to class.

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