I had a breakthrough with my yoga practice last week. They always seem to come just when I need them most…and always after I’ve let go of something that’s weighing on me.
You might remember that around this time last year, I finally got into a pose that I had been working on for upwards of five years…titibasana.
Well, on Friday I finally successfully transitioned from titibasana to crow pose after SIX years of unsuccessful attempts. For a very long time I didn’t take this transition seriously, despite that it’s part of the arm balancing series in the ashtanga primary series (which I used to practice regularly). I didn’t take it seriously because in my mind it was something that I could watch my teachers effortlessly do but it felt so foreign and unavailable to my body. I was still struggling with titibasana at this point so to add crow to it felt completely ridiculous. So I defaulted to that place that so many of us go (on our mats and in our lives) of “I can’t do it. (So why even try?)”
I set an intention at the beginning of this year to set some goals around my yoga practice. Three of my biggest goals were:
1) crow to handstand press
2) floating from handstand down into crow pose
3) titibasana to crow
I’ve been talking about wanting to do these things for years but just talking about something without any action behind it doesn’t really get you anywhere. So I made some changes this year. Every time I come to my mat I practice these things. I quit avoiding them. They’re hard, they sometimes frustrate me and occasionally lead to grunts, groans and maybe a choice word or two. Even though I feel all of those things, I can now find the exhilaration in trying (and failing).
Today I get to share with you that after several months of consistent practice I’ve got one down, one close and a ways to go on the other…but that’s okay.
My titibasana to crow happened last Friday when I was taking my friend Rian’s class who is always very playful with arm balancing and inversions (one of the reasons I love his classes). He demoed titibasana to crow in class and challenged us to try it. So I tried and tried and tried some more. I was practicing between one of my best friends and another woman who has an inspirational practice. I watched her do the transition effortlessly and noticed one thing she was doing that I was not and all of the sudden a lightbulb went off. I tried again. And it happened. Just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke I did it again at the end of standing flow before floor work. And then I did it again after class. It was real.
I haven’t written about this on my blog quite yet but over the last 3-4 weeks I have gone through some serious shedding in regards to my schedule and commitments. While I can’t deny that change, letting go and slowing down hasn’t been difficult, it’s beautiful to see in practice that the lightening of the load has created the space I needed to fly.
I remain ever grateful for yoga and my practice. It has changed my life.