I’ve been having a bad day. I woke up in a bad mood. My kids have been driving me crazy. I ran to 4 different stores looking for something that can only be purchased online. My dog ate my lunch. My husband is breathing stupidly. Bad day, you dig?
There could be any number of reasons I’m not responding to these very minor and rather typical daily disruptions with grace and ease. There are folks out there who would tell me that I need to know why I am responding the way that I am responding so that I can I change it. I sometimes follow that train of thought. I just as often, however, subscribe to the philosophy that sometimes I just have to be a bitch, throw a fit, and then throw it in the Fuck-it Bucket. Today I’m falling into the later category.
One of the things I learned very early on in my yoga journey is that putting your heart above your head is a symbol of humility and can refresh your creative ability and compassionate awareness. I learned that letting the blood and lymph flow from the bottom of myself to the top of myself is a reset button of sorts. I also learned that if I want to change the way the world looks to me, I have to change the way I look at the world. Enter Salamba Sirsasana!
Silamba Sirsasana – Supported Headstand. The King of Asanas. A surefire way to change the way I look at things. It takes courage, strength, calmness, balance, intention, and stillness. It’s not always easy, but what is that is worth having?
Sirsasana and I have been having an interesting relationship. When I was a child, I was a gymnast. I competed throughout my state and held that innocent childhood belief that I would always be able to do the stuff I did then. WRONGO! Somewhere along the way, 22 years robbed me of my head and handstands. About a year ago, I started doing headstands again (and handstands against a wall.) I found that I could quite easily go into Sirsasana 2 (tripod headstand,) but Sirsa 1 eluded me. I could not get it for more than a few seconds. I would roll backwards. I needed to keep my knees tucked to chest. I couldn’t do it … and it pissed me off. How very yogic of me, right? ugh
A few months ago, I was looking at some photos of a yogi friend of mine in Sirsasana and I noticed that he was much further forward on his crown than I was. Not on his forehead or anything, but way up there. Hrmmmm. I had been chewing on this little nugget of potential wisdom for weeks until today when my attitude was screaming at me to do something and I decided to give Sirsa 1 a go. I doubled up my mat in the middle of the room, took off my socks, threw my forearms down on the mat, and found a sweet spot way up on my crown. I breathed and took my time. I tried kicking up. I tried rolling up. I tried folding up. And then, suddenly, when I stopped thinking about how to get up, I realized I was up! When I started to get shakey, I hugged the muscles of my arms to the bones and shot my shoulder blades down (up in this case) my back giving more space between my shoulders and my ears. I breathed and realized that I was exhaling fear and inhaling courage. I was releasing the fear of injury, the fear of being a bad mother, the fear of a long a successful marriage (I have issues. Moving on…,) fear of not being enough, fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear of aging, fear of new things, fear of being stuck with old things, fear of fear! I stayed there for 4 long minutes. HOT DAMN!
I gently folded down and stayed in Balasana for quite some time. I was shaking in my arms, my toes, my fingers. I don’t know if I was shaking for the exertion, the exhilaration, the release, or all of the above. Probably all of above. It didn’t matter. It still doesn’t matter. I DID IT. And I loved it. And I learned from it. And now, I’m no longer scared of it. YES!
I’m not feeling nearly as pissy now as I was earlier today. Things are kind of rolling right on off my shoulders. I’m feeling a little more Zen, a little more balanced, and a hell of a lot stronger. The world looks a bit different now and it’s all because I turned it upside down.