Last night I achieved Salamba Sirsasana – a Supported Headstand, which up until this week has been very difficult for me, but through practice, I finally got it without using the wall! Granted I am still in close contact to wall to give me a sense of security, but I didn’t need it! Small achievements, but monumentally rewarding ;0)
Now maybe one day I can get into Feathered Peacock Pose or Upward Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose…after LOTS of practice!!!
The thing I love about Yoga is that with each of these asanas, which had seemed impossible prior to completing, you gain belief in your own abilities. Not only does it quiet the mind and calm the brain which helps relieve stress, strengthens the body, and improves digestion, but it makes you feel empowered. I often think to myself, after finally getting up into one of these poses, “Yes! I did it! I wonder what else I can do now!”
I think that can permeate into all other aspects of life. This feeling could be applied to lots of other types of activities as well. I often feel this with dance, but it could correlate to rock-climbing, martial arts, numerous different types of sports, learning to play an instrument, paint, meditate, anything. For me, I’m finding it a lot in my Yoga practice. I find Yoga always challenges me because some days my body is not as flexible as it was the day before, or my balance is off, so I have to quiet myself (anyone who knows me can imagine what a challenge that is!) and take inventory and move energy around or just accept my limitations at that given moment, but know that tomorrow it may all come together and another achievement will occur. It’s a cool feeling which I apply to my work, my relationships, my self-talk, anything.
I guess the point I’m getting at here is CHALLENGE YOURSELF. Don’t get too comfy in what you CAN do, try something you’ve never done before on a regular basis. Don’t hurt yourself, keep it within your abilities, but push just a tiny bit more every day. It will do wonders for your well-being when you make something happen you thought you couldn’t do before ;0)
Back to the actual pose, you can find tips about how to do a headstand on Yoga Journal: Salamba Sirsasana, but I highly recommend learning how to do it WITH someone who has mastered this asana and can help you through it (thanks Kathleen!). Make sure to follow it up with Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog and then Balasana – Child’s Pose to neutralize the spine and breathe!