Monday, September 12, 2011

Fearlessness: A Healthy Jaded Update

On Saturday I finally stopped avoiding the inevitable and took the next level up in yoga (I’m currently in Level 1 Basics, Kshanti, but have been promising to take the Level 2 Basics, Virya) and proved to myself that I was ready for it. This may seem like a small thing to be proud of, but those of you who are regular yoga practitioners can vouch for the magnitude of such an achievement.

Virya is Sanskrit for enthusiastic effort/diligence and boy is that class properly named. First off I should mention that I took the Basics 1 class at 12:30, had a 30 minute break and then came back for the Basics 2 class. That's right. In one day. My instructor, Jess, said she saw nothing wrong with it if I felt my body was ready and I interpreted that as her asking me if I had the cojones for it.

What took me so long to try this class? Fear, plain and simple. I was afraid of not being able to do the postures correctly and then getting mad at myself and quitting over some nonexistent, perceived humiliation. I'm so afraid I'm going to give up in the middle of this journey, revert back to the lazy, fat, unhappy sofa girl I was just a few months ago and I don't want to be her anymore. She was so unbearably miserable...I just can't go back.

With this in mind, I don't tend to pounce on different physical activities or lifestyle changes at full speed. I'm more of a chug-along-slowly-and-enjoy-the-scenery kind of person. I need to take the baby steps to assure myself that we're okay, we won't fall off the wagon and eat a tray of wings and fries followed by a pint of Haagen Dazs. We won't give up on the goals we've set. But sometimes the baby steps make me second guess myself, too, and that's what caused the hold-up with joining the Basics 2 class.

At first I did concern myself too much with what the others were doing and how I measured up to them, but about 1/4 of the way into it, when I saw I was hanging in there and working the postures, my cojones finally kicked in. And just in time, too, because Jess invited us to begin setting up for the Wading Bird posture:

We weren't ask to try the full posture yet (we're only a Basics 2 class!) meaning our feet didn't have to leave the ground, but we did have to lean forward and rest our knees on our elbows.

Let me explain something- on a long list of things I'm afraid of, doing any kind of work that requires me to balance on my arms and allow my feet to leave the ground is near the top (somewhere after getting trampled to death in a crowd O_o). This means I never did gymnastics; it took me forever to learn to fall properly in Tae Kwon Do and I can't do a cartwheel to save my life. I have this irrational fear of snapping my wrists into tiny bone fragments that will never fully recover.

On Saturday I worked really hard to tuck that fear away and push my body...and I did it. Towards the end of class I tucked the fear away again when Jess invited the class to sustain a half handstand against the wall. I actually spoke up, asked for her to sit by me and guide me through it...and I held it for .3 seconds. It was such a rush! I can almost taste that full-on Wading Bird and handstand! It might be a month away or it might be a year away, but I can taste it. I'm learning to overcome my fear!

And before you know it, I'll be doing cartwheels all over your lawn.

*smooches...excited for my next yoga class*
I'm totally in love with this class, fuck everything else