Today the yoga drill sergeant whipped us through headstands. Snap, snap, everyone, upside-down now.
Even with many years of yoga under my belt, headstand continues to terrify me. I can’t get past the point of bringing my knees into my chest in preparation for raising them skyward. Occasionally, I’ll float one tentative leg up when I’m against the wall.
So when the teacher asked if anyone was afraid of headstand, my hand shot up. She immediately decided she would demonstrate how to assist using me. With her very expert guidance and full-body support, I did, indeed, manage a full headstand. But I didn’t feel grounded; the crown of my head never rooted down solidly. I suspect, had she let go, I would have tumbled out of the posture instantly.
“You have a beautiful practice,” she said to me kindly as I righted myself. “But oh boy, you have all sorts of issues going on inside there.”
I’m not sure if she meant physical or mental ones, but she’d be right on both counts.
I’ve often considered my fear of headstand more mental than physical, my personal manifestation representing my fears in general.
Extreme heights make me nervous. Balancing on my head terrifies me. Any activity that involves falling somehow – either by implied or very real loss of control – apparently sets me to spinning.
I fell in a different way recently, hard and completely accidentally, without thought or premeditation of any kind. I’ve been in free fall for over a week and I haven’t fully landed yet.
Where I may be going worries me and yet, I threw myself over the cliff anyway, hurtling myself toward sweet temptation.
I’ve lost control. And I’m spinning like mad, crazily and without a solid plan. It feels…it feels…
Well, it feels like maybe I’ll conquer headstand soon.