Headstand! Do you know that once upon a time, eight years ago, as a new yoga student, I could not master headstand? Frankly, I was quite scared to lose control. Or so I thought. The best analogy for headstand is road cycling. However, in headstand, one really does maintain control as one is completely managing the machine of one’s body, not the body plus a bicycle plus dickhead automobile drivers. Being upside down is not unnatural; it is simply foreign. One can make friends with humans from other countries. One can make friends with going upside down. And, if one can ride a bicycle, then one can do headstand, in my opinion. Trust me! And, for continued naysayers on my proclamation, please discard of all rebuttals regarding neck and back issues because a regular yoga practice shall fix all of that, too. Trust me! I speak from experience. Here I am, just the other day, practicing the third, fourth, and fifth headstands of the seven headstands of the secondary series of Ashtanga yoga. With interconnecting vinyasa. Hooray!
And here’s the fancy thing about Ashtanga. There is ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO LEARN, TO ACHIEVE. I bet that not a single human on Earth can do every single pose, to their maximum extent, in all of the Ashtanga series. And that’s why Ashtanga and I jive so divinely together. It sets the bar for me, and I’m on the constant pursuit of perfection. But in the case with Ashtanga, I know that total perfection requires the hardest work of my life. There’s no potential boredom factor. It will keep me going and working until I’m exhausted from Earth. Ashtanga is perfection.
On Friday, at midnight, I conjured the sudden urge to attempt padmasana (lotus) in sirsasana (headstand). Recall, once upon a time, I could not do headstand. Furthermore, it took 6 years to achieve lotus pose, as I always had an iffy right ankle and tight hips. I wasn’t really focused on finding lotus for the first 5 years of my practice because I did not practice Ashtanga traditionally. But, on year 6, when discovering the formal Ashtanga system, I decided to give lotus a go because, well, Ashtanga is chockfull of loti. And it eventually came. Hooray! Then BOO HOO, I hurt my ankle one year ago doing lotus variation in the closing sequence, and BAM. I went from proficient (or so I thought) lotus fun to bye bye lotus. It’s consumed one year to heal and to recover, to discover a safe way to practice, and now I’m ready to try lotus it in headstand, and I ALMOST ACCOMPLISHED IT ON FRIDAY. You will see me pout when I failed but then I tried lifting from the ground onto sirsasanaB / bakasana arms, something that I’ve also never accomplished before, and it was a glorious success! I am posting this video to demonstrate that Guruji was correct in that “Practice and all is coming.”
What are you currently working hard to achieve?