Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I've wanted badly to be able to do a headstand. When it's time in yoga class for our inversion, the instructors often tell us to choose our inversion from many, but they walk us through the shoulder stand.

And don't get me wrong. Sarvagasana is a great pose. I like feeling all the blood pooling in my head, feeling my body calming down and cooling off after the long, sweaty class. I like flopping my legs over the top of my head into plow and feeling the tops of my feet pressing against the floor. Shoulder stand is fabulous in its own way.

But I want to stand on my head. One of my teachers said one time that sirasana is the king of all yoga poses. I have looked around the room, jealously, at the students ignoring the teachers walking through sarvagasana and slowly unfolding themselves into a beautiful, tall, strong, head stand.

As a little girl, I could stand on my head. I took gymnastics classes, and we learned to do the tripod headstand there. I loved it, and I loved folding into and out of it, kind of climbing up my own arms until I found my world upside down, felt my spine stretching long in places where it's normally short and compacting in places it's normally long. I wanted to feel that freedom, that upside-down, disconcerting freedom again as an adult.

I started trying to climb into the pose a few weeks ago, and I could never get my legs up off my arms. I'd try to reach even one toe a little higher up, and it felt as if my legs weighed a thousand pounds each. They wouldn't budge.

But I kept trying, and guess what? Tonight, my feet lifted, and I felt my stomach tighten, and my legs came off my arms! I didn't get my legs all the way straight, but I felt it coming. I took three full breaths with my legs slowly rising and rising before I trembled and fell to the floor.

I am so excited! Soon, I think, I'll be able to do it beautifully!

It occurred to me that asking my husband to leave but not being able to follow through is something like my first, tentative, awkward movements towards sirasana. I felt something opening up within me, and some part of me that was weak is stronger now. I'm getting closer to something, something elegant, strong, and wonderful.


~e~ said...


abbiegrrl said...

JW, you rock. I'm thinking of getting my body involved in this whole recovery-healthier ME thing, too. I'm afraid that if I did a headstand, parts of me would be shifting in ways I'd rather not experience just yet.

But I'm glad to think of you working your way up to it. Maybe someday, if YOU can, then perhaps I can too.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Damn it, when you let me say stuff now, I get all this performance anxiety. I need some commenting Viagra or something. I do love how yoga teaches us and serves as a metaphor (hey, I wrote that before I read your labels!) for the lessons we are learning. (That's so lame. More Viagra!)

Recovery Discovery said...

hmmm, sounds like progress, not perfection. That's good awareness.

vicariousrising said...

It will come when you are ready.

sKILLz said...

Good for you for trying something new and pushing yourself. Most people just except where ther at and what they cn and cant do. Keep pushing yourself and striving for what you want!
Stay Up!

Misery Marketing said...

I was jealous of you bustin out. Now I can just relate again. Except for the part about feeling this big wonderful change around the corner. I wanted to give my wife a valentines card with a coupon for a free divorce lawyer in it but they didnt have any at Walgreens. I hope you find what you're looking for.