Monday, March 15, 2010

Fear of Falling

The theme in my yoga class tonight was “conquering fear.”  The instructor challenged each of us to attempt a partial handstand, something that indeed brought fear to my heart. 

Since breaking my hip last year, one of my biggest concerns when practicing yoga has been the possibility of falling.  I often position my mat near the wall or near the shelves for personal items in case I need something to hold onto.  I often wish for a safety net that unfortunately isn’t there.

So tonight when it came time for the modified handstand pose, I did my best down dog instead, also an inversion but not one of which I was afraid.  I watched the others in the class put their feet up on the wall and even lift one leg at a time into the air.  Some of them probably did have a fear of this pose at the beginning, but they did it.

After class I approached the instructor and asked about a private lesson.  I would really like to experience the handstand pose with proper supervision and assistance and the assurance that I will not fall. 

The instructor said she would be delighted to work with me, so I gave her my e-mail address and hope to hear from her.

What I love about my yoga studio is the respect and support for each individual.  I long ago learned to come away from class feeling proud that I had done my very best, knowing full well that it didn’t necessarily match anyone else’s.


Blogger Kristin said...

You're amazing, Barbara. Instead of just skipping it or doing something fear, you're finding a way to make it work. Safely. Good for you!

10:26 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

To know your best doesn't have to meet anyone else's is a very valuable lesson!

6:04 AM  
Blogger Russell said...

Good for you! I think the phrase is "pushing beyond your comfort zone" or something like that. Whatever you call it, it is GOOD for people to do!

It is easy for people to stay within their comfort zones. I know I am guilty of that to a huge extent.

But those times I pretty much force myself to do something I would rather not do, I usually feel good about it.

In my case, I often prefer to stay home when I get back from work. But if I go to a movie or an art gallery, etc. I am always glad I did.

I am glad you are confident enough in yourself to do things to expand your boundaries. Good for you!

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! So glad you can do your beloved yoga after the operation.

For me asana practice is partly about noticing, respecting, and exploring my "limits" within safe boundaries. Mercifully I'm not too plagued by "comparing mind" in the yoga studio, and you aren't either. Getting older, having an injury, etc. can be good teachers! :-)


1:09 PM  
Blogger LiLu said...

Good for you! B and I started a work out regimen that has a day of yoga in it, but we're doing it at home... without an instructor...

I feel like this is a bad idea.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

I was always afraid of doing handstands, as I`m having weak joints and don`t like to rely on them, but maybe it`s just a matter of confidence. You are a brave girl!

6:03 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

That sounds like a good plan - there are always safe ways to take little visits outside your comfort zone. That's the best way to expand it, I think.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

I love that in yoga there is no competition with anyone else. Everyone is listening to their own bodies and one is not more 'right' than the other. It is just different. Once that truly sinks in it is so freeing. It allows you to find balance. Yoga is fantastic. I am not at all afraid of head/hand stands but I would love to arrive at that place where I can do a free standing hand stand without any support. At the moment my body is telling me "Use the wall!"

Continue to listen to your body, don't push, take your time and enjoy the process.

11:48 PM  

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