So, I'm sitting around with a few friends unwinding on a Friday night. One of my buddies happens to be a yoga teacher, and I confessed I had started practicing again, and what a horror show it had been.
I also mentioned that one of the reasons I had stopped practicing was that everyone else in my class had advanced to handstands. I, on the other hand...I just could never do it. As soon as I got ready to kick up into the handstand, my legs turned into watery noodles; I had visions of my arms splaying, my head crashed to the ground, vertebrae shattered.
"Let me see your handstand," yoga friend said.
"What? I just told you -- it scares the crap out of me."
"You can do it," she said (rather severely, I thought). "C'mon. Let me see it."
Wondering at my own idiocy and bravado -- and fueled by a couple of glasses of wine -- I brought my mat close to the wall.
I did realize at that point that trying this pose, at my nonexistent level of fitness and kangaroo-like belly pouch, would be foolish; plus, my freelancer health insurance is rather deficient when it comes to crippling maladies. I did, though, with her help, push into a freestanding headstand, something I've never done before. I held it. And then a standing backbend, walking my hands down the wall, with Yoga Friend coaching me inch by inch.
It was a breakthrough; it was utterly thrilling; and it changed forever my view of myself as someone who has no upper arm strength and who simply can't do those kinds of things. I have seen the world, and it is upside down.
Props to the teacher, too, for not taking no for an answer, and for teaching me that following instruction properly goes a long way towards achieving a pose.
I'm not one of those people who gets all preachy about yoga being life-changing and all, though I do think everybody should dabble in it at least, particularly as we age, to keep ourselves flexed and strong. Now, though, I'm starting to think it may be a true eye-opener for me. Talk about letting go of fear.