I didn’t think I’d have to revisit the headstand in yoga. I did, after all, learn to fling myself up against a wall, remove one foot at a time from the wall, slowly, and balance for a good ten seconds before coming down.
I felt good about all of that.
But last week, in my first yoga class since Christmas, we went back to the beginning and started all over again. Our teacher, Rob, was taught that you shouldn’t even try to go up into a headstand until you can hold downward dog for six minutes. Six minutes! Can I do that? I have no idea.
He showed us a headstand done in the middle of the studio. With no wall to fling himself against. He’d only shown us the fling to give us a taste of what was ahead.
It turns out, of course, that it isn’t about flinging at all.
We practiced some of the shoulder and upper back strengthening moves that will prepare us for controlled headstands, which some of us may be able to do some day. I came out of it astounded at my lack of strength.
It occurs to me that I have, in general, always preferred flinging to the slow, steady work that creates a different kind of result. I think I’ve lived most of my 48 years doing that, flinging into this, flinging into that, looking for immediate gratification, immediate captivation.
And it’s been marvelous, in part, catapulting me into an enormous number of adventures and passions.
It has also not been marvelous, and may, now that i think about it, have a little bit to do with unsuccessful relationships and a tendency toward boredom and restlessness.
It could be that I’m beginning, at this stage of my life, to explore something beyond the fling, something slower, deeper, and possibly more balanced. That might be exciting in a completely different way.
Thanks to headstands.
And thanks for the conversation,
Shanti, shanti, shanti.