The Adventures of Now

exploring the mix of fun, fitness & health…as a diabetic


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Goal Pose: Headstand

ReflectionsfromtheMaticon

One of my goal poses (not to be confused with fear pose) in yoga is to be able to hold a headstand. With my fear pose(s) it’s often over-thinking that holds me back from, with goal pose(s) I’ve given it lots of thought … I just haven’t gotten quite there yet.

Headstands are one of those poses that I’ve always been surrounded by but often forget about practicing it myself.  I always remember when my Dad and step-mom introduced yoga to my high school my senior year (soooo glad it wasn’t freshman) and while my step-mom was guiding us through one thing or another, my dad silently extended in to headstand  slowly catching the awe of everyone in the room – for me it was just dad being dad. He’s 6’6″ so it made for quite an impressive site.

When I taught children, they would happily flip into headstand – often a little too quickly. I’ve done plenty of donkey kicks myself and taught many. But the strength in headstands comes from the control.

Like  from 0:22  – 0:40 in this video from Equinox (but perhaps not in your underwear)

Control takes a little more concentration. So I’m trying to pay attention to certain steps and poses in my current classes that can help me gain that control and strength (looking at you core).

10 steps to a headstand from FitSguar

Wide-Legged-Forward-Bend

  My favorite yoga class has included a wide-legged forward bend in almost each one since I’ve been practicing in April. Looks simple enough – my hamstrings tell me otherwise. My head is not on the ground. Not even close. But through the guidance of the instructor, I’ve really tried to be more mindful of the pose. It’s getting there! Slowly but surely.

Dolphin-PlankAnother  pose that is a huge support is not just plank but Dolphin Plank and with babysteps, inching my feet forward. This is part strength and trust, as my feet move closer to the front my trust needs to build in the strength of my arms for the foundation of my headstand.

                                                                                                                                                                  Bound-Headstand-Against-Wall

 What I should be doing, is practicing at home – and this would be an excellent way to do so (not really an option at the gym).

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:: Related Links ::

How to headstand || Lululemon Blog

5 Reasons you can’t do a headstand yet (#fearpose) || FitSguar

Yoga Inversions 101 || Whole Living

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YourTurnIcon Headstand : challenge or child’s play? 

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Fear Pose: Wheel

ReflectionsfromtheMaticon

                           

  

 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.

Silly really.

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.

Alright Nike.

Don’t think. Just do. Ready set…

Go.

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.

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:: 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

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                                                   What’s your fear pose?