I’m scared of wheel pose.
I have been since gymnastic days … right there with cartwheels.
(Those still don’t happen)
Perhaps it’s a lack of confidence in my arm strength …. with good reason.
I start in bridge, really reaching my arms away, shoulder blades in, feet grounded. Maybe, just maybe lifting one leg in the air…and then the other.
Then it’s time to transition into wheel. Panic starts to set in.
I place my hands by my ears, ok I can do this, today will be the day, I will lift off the ground.
My brain got the message, why hasn’t my arms?
Oh crap, I’m stuck in that awkward moment of arms not
pulling lifting enough weight and my head is still on the mat – not quite reaching the crown of my head either but the back of my head which my neck says is a bad idea.
More panic, I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough, I’m going to hurt myself.
This has been an internal dialogue for quite some time.
Teaching kids yoga, this was one of their favorite poses. Luckily many knew it from gymnastics already and I was able to use a model student rather than myself – and when I didn’t I just had to cross my fingers that I would actually lift into wheel to show them.
This is definitely mind over matter.
Last year I added it to my list of goals – thinking that if I worked on arm strength (yeah, about that…) I would be able to pull it off.
But wishing doesn’t make something happen.
And I would often chicken out of the pose in class, out of fear of discomfort (not to be confused with pain).
So I kept it for a goal this year. I have just over a month to finish out with my favorite yoga classes before I move. I wanted to get back to the practice I had last spring, especially if I was taking a break from running I could give it more focus and really try poses.
While that hasn’t quite happened yet, it still remains a very achievable goal for March 1st.
(I have a feeling my arms might be a little sore from dragging boxes down 5 flights after that …I say I have nothing to wear now and that I got rid of most of my magazines … wait until moving day and I’ll be
singing a different tune complaining other wise)
Last Monday I was in a relatively new yoga class, one that’s more restorative where the teacher provides adjustments and a sense of soothing. It hadn’t been about finding the challenge in each pose but about listening to my body and really paying attention to what it needs (hello hipflexors).
And then she said the evil word : wheel pose.
But it was what she said right after it that made a difference: don’t even think about it.
Wheel pose. don’t even think about it. just do it.
Don’t think. Just do. Ready set…
And I did.
Up up up & away into wheel.
Boy did it feel opening.
For the whole two breaths that it lasted.
This past Monday she called out wheel pose again.
And I blocked out the panic and remembered that brief moment I was in wheel – I wanted that.
Don’t think, just do.
As my hands started to slip, I slowly lowered down, grabbed my towel and tried again.
Only for two or three breaths, but it was up.
Wheel is uncomfortable [to me] and there’s a lot to be worked on but I think before I leave NYC I should be able to hold a solid wheel for 5 breaths.
:: Related Links ::
40 min yoga session leading up to Wheel Pose || Yoga Journal
4 steps to one-legged variation of Upward-Facing Bow Pose (pic above) || Yoga Journal
What not to do in Wheel Pose || Fit Sugar
What’s your fear pose?