Last month, I accomplished one of my goals for the year and attended a yoga retreat! I often describe yoga as a gift to, for, and from myself. For that one practice, I align my thoughts, spirit, and body. I give myself permission to fail and celebrate my body and its ability. The articulation of my body makes room to celebrate and appreciate its journey. I had been looking for a reason to return to the mat so when my #yogabae announced her retreat was happening in Negril, I said count me in! Trust me when I say this was LONG overdue. One day, we focused on inversion flows. These posturizations allow your heart to be physically over your head. Basically, anything where you're bent over or upside down. Prior to going to Jamaica, I told myself I would accomplish my first unaided handstand, something I've never gotten the hang of.
The instructor guided us through the poses, emphasizing the need for focus and trust our bodies to do what they are capable of.
We started out with Crow's pose, which is both one of most difficult and simple poses to master early on in your yogi journey. Hitting this pose brings a newbie practitioner so much pride. In the three years that I've practiced yoga, I've only had about four or five crows take flight. That is to say triumphantly balancing on your elbows. The more I went through the flow, I could feel myself not relinquish permission to fall. I went into the pose with a level of arrogance since I've hit the pose before. I was so focused on the pose, that neglected to be in tune with my body and listen to it. The sweat poured down my back to my shoulders to my arms and hands making it difficult to balance without slipping. It began to chip away at my motivation. Something I knew I succeeded at felt further away than ever before.
When we got to the handstand portion of class, I was ready to redeem myself. Instead, my handstand turned into an awkward flip that landed me on my back! I laid there staring at the ceiling feeling numb with embarrassment, disappointment, and defeat. *Inhale This is not why I was here. I was there to reset my intentions and health regimens. The focus on the destination eclipsed my focus on the journey. *Exhale The journey is where I learned to be proud of my body and getting through the class. That's what was so amazing about the experience. I had to trust and learn my body but I also had to unlearn those insecurities that disconnected my mind, body, and spirit. The poses weren't successful because I couldn't relinquish control so I could focus. The more I tried these poses without trust in myself, the less successful I was. I decided to be okay with not getting into the poses because I made the decision to appreciate the journey and growth. That I will be ok as I grow because growth is inevitable.