Thursday, September 13, 2007

Day 73

I had a good morning practice. Lately, it's been coolish out, so I've been delaying opening up the apartment until after my practice, so the room is nice and toasty. I love working up a sweat though it doesn't always happen (and sometimes, it doesn't matter how warm the room is). But when it does, I find that my lower back feels more open and my practice feels better in general.

Today, I enjoyed a lovely shoulderstand, such a change from yesterday! I felt like I could have stayed there for an hour. I wasn't even going to try to do the backbends, but coaxed myself into coming into a partial backbend. After that, two full backbends felt easy!

Best of all, I balanced for a few breaths in handstand! I always feel strong and mighty in this pose, but that hasn't always been the case.

When I first started working with handstand in 2004, I would burst into tears every time I came into it. At times, my arms would collapse and I would melt into a puddle of misery on the floor. No other inversion scared me so much. It seemed odd because I've always enjoyed headstand and shoulderstand.

One day in an Anusara class, a fellow practitioner brought me into a handstand in the middle of the room, then literally held me in a full body hug for about a minute, speaking soothingly as I held the pose. This was a turning point for me - I started working with handstand against the wall regularly at home. Then I injured my foot coming into the pose and I took a six month break. But my drill-instructor Ansuara instructor M was very persistent in encouraging me to do the pose.

These days, I'm comfortable (though not altogether happy) doing the pose with assistance in the middle of the room in a class. But I truly love practising handstand against the wall. To be honest, I never thought the day would come when I would hear myself utter the words 'love' and 'handstand' in the same sentence, so that's progress!

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