I’ve been feeling low-energy this week. Yesterday in my yoga class, my teacher asked if I would demo kicking up into handstand with a partner. I felt extremely depleted, but I agreed to try anyway. Despite not feeling full of energy, I made it upside down. This is the only way I’ve ever been able to get into handstand – with support. I have been practicing yoga for over a decade. And handstands have been on the menu for just as long. Some of you know how much fear I have with this pose.
“No effort is wasted.” My yoga teachers say this all the time. There is also the concept of a “lifetime pose” – as in, it may take a lifetime to get there. I’m not sure in which lifetime I will get over my mental blocks and kick up into handstand on my own, but I’m certain I will surprise myself so much I will fall out and have to do it again.
I judge myself against my classmates, many if not most of whom can kick up on their own. I wonder what is wrong with me that I am not like them. But the reality is, I am not them. Each of us has her own struggles. I do know that over the years, my relationship with this pose has changed in subtle ways. There have been small and subtle shifts, perhaps like the movement of the tectonic plates. I trust in the process and recognize that even if these changes aren’t visible, they are still happening.
Yesterday, after I demonstrated kicking up into handstand with support, a classmate approached me and said, “I aspire to do what you just did.” Wow did that expand my perspective. We are all on a continuum. We all struggle. Only some of us keep coming back and making the effort.
I’ve been thinking about effort lately, too. The kind of “doing” that happens without attachments so that it doesn’t feel like effort. The kind of “doing” that does itself.
And then there is the “doing” that comes from lots of practice, and eventually what took so much effort comes effortlessly. I like both of these kinds. Thanks for the reminder!