Have you ever realized that something you confidently remember as easy and ‘in the bag’, now suddenly isn’t? What happened to my strength?!
I believe practice makes perfect, and that we can accomplish pretty much anything we put our minds to (thanks, Dad!). 12 years ago when I started my yoga journey, I embraced many strength challenges, including standing balances, arm balances, and inversions.
Standing balances like Vibrahadrasana III (Warrior III) and Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon) were daunting at first, but with strong legs and core I soon figured them out (pretty much!). Arm balances and inversions brought up deep-seated fear about falling and breaking my neck, no kidding! I learned gradually how to do Forearm Headstand, that was a big day! And, I did master the arm balance pose called Crow or Crane (Bakasana). Ahem, but all that was over a decade ago.
I decided to take up some arm balances again recently, and started with Crow because it’s a foundational one to get under your belt before moving to handstand, etc.
I began with a hip and core warmup; some Happy Baby, Garland Squat, wrist circles/flexion/extension. Came into a deep squat, slid my upper arms under my knees, planted my hands, and visualized myself just floating up, aaahhh. Here’s what really happened.
Okay, reset. I often suggest students new to Crow to position a block to rest their forehead on. Let’s try that, hmmm, sort of works, but still didn’t have a sense I could hang out there for any amount of time.
After several attempts and fails, walking away, resetting, talking to myself (and noticing that annoying voice in my head saying ‘you can’t do it anymore’), I finally managed to stick it – not for long tho! So this is my new little challenge, practicing daily, and celebrating small improvements in strength and confidence.
This is but a small example of what each of us do, every day. We’re on a path to better health and wellness, through building physical strength, mental acuity and stamina, and emotional balance. We face daily challenges of time management, responsibility, relationships, accomplishments. And some of you are facing truly daunting challenges with health, as you deal with cancer, heart disease, arthritis and other serious illnesses and their treatments.
I realize how blessed I am to have this small focus on conquering Crow. And I applaud you for resetting each and every day, surrounding yourself with the tools and help you need, stilling the negative self talk and staying positive and optimistic, finding the jewels in each day.
Would love any feedback, comments and experiences, please share!