When I began my yoga journey a couple years ago, I always had a goal of doing a handstand, unassisted. Late last year, when I set my goals for 2015, I added a handstand as one of my goals. In May, when I reassessed my goals, I changed the handstand goal to a headstand. We crawl before we walk, so it only makes sense that I must accomplish a headstand before I can do a handstand. I am ecstatic to report that last night, I popped up into a headstand multiple times!
My first supported headstand was in late January, and I practiced it a few times in February, before kind of letting it slide again, aside from class work once a week or so. I used blocks under my shoulders to help support my neck, and to learn how to tripod my arms properly. Tonight, in class, we worked on tripods with our knees on our elbows, and I was quite surprised that I was able to get into that and hold it fairly well. I drug my mat over by the wall and tried a headstand unsupported, and after a couple shaky attempts, I was able to pop up and hold it for a little bit! After class, I popped up a couple more times, so a friend could take my picture!For today’s Thursday’s Three, I’ll share my current favorite 3 things about yoga.
1. ANYONE can do it. Really, anyone. In the class I attend, there are students who have never, or extremely rarely practiced yoga. There are also students in the class that I attend weekly that are able to do any pose and pop up into any inversion without a second thought. I am still relatively new in my practice, but I am awed every class at the welcoming atmosphere, and the fact that my instructor, Maylo, can teach all levels at once, with personal attention to everyone. Yoga truly is a practice for every body.
2. My body speaks to me. And I’m learning to listen. I typically carry my stress in my neck and shoulders. I can tell where I am tight and where my stress is, especially when I sit and breathe, like at the beginning of yoga class. Through breathe, I can focus on my heartbeat and I can feel my shoulders and neck relax, and I can assess my body and focus on the area that needs help. Week after week, I can listen to my body telling me to push harder, to go deeper, or even to lighten up and take it easier to allow my body to rest. Through breathing and moving through vinyasa, I am able to listen to what my body says. In today’s crazy and hectic society, I can use all the practice of listening to my body as I can get.3. My mind is strong. Stronger than I know. In yoga, in running, and in life, I think it is generally my mind that allows me to quit far quicker than my body. Centering my mind during yoga and focusing on my breathing has helped me realize that my mind is strong.
There are so many more great reasons to love yoga, I’d love for you to share your favorites below!