You’d think that looking at myself in the mirror several times a day, every day would mean that I have a sensible understanding of what I look like. Not the obvious things like ‘my hair is brown, my eyes are brown…’ but a realistic understanding of the correct proportion of my body; but it’s clear that I have no clue and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Perhaps this is a bi-product of spending part of my adulthood carrying an excess of 100 pounds. Even though I am by most standards considered a normal weight (well, except for the traditional BMI scale which still has me teetering on the edge of being listed as overweight) I still cringe when my tall, burly uncle lifts me off the floor for a big hug. Instinctively I wriggle free saying, ‘Don’t lift me up! You’ll give yourself a hernia for sure!’
The same thing happens when I’m in yoga class. Sue, my amazing teacher, will ask me to prepare for a pose by planting my feet shoulder width apart; in my mind’s eye that equals to roughly 2 feet, right? No? When I readjust and see the tiny space between my feet I think, well, that can’t be right. But it is. The truth is that most of the time I don’t feel like I have an accurate sense of how my body really looks.
Last week I learned how to begin preparing for a handstand. When I watched Sue do this my jaw dropped and my eyes widened in amazement. I shook my head but Sue had faith in me so I tried it; it helped tremendously that she was right there to spot me – and I did it…..kind of. I’ve been carefully practicing at home for the last few days and planned on sharing pictures of me setting up for this pose. I know one thing for certain: I will never master a handstand until I gain an accurate ‘feel’ for my body. What about all of the photos, you ask? Well, I can show you three, which is exactly three more than I was going to post, considering I didn’t actually do what I set out to do.
Before attempting to practice a handstand it was important to know that my upper body was strong enough to support one. I’ve been doing this for the last several months by doing such exercises as push-ups and holding plank pose for as long as possible:
In the next photo I’m measuring where my hand placement will be for my practice handstand (my hands will be placed roughly where the heels of my feet are). See how well I can sit? (ha-ha). Of course, Brulee had to be in the photo as well
Next, I place my hands where the heels of my feet were, and back my feet up to the wall (by the way, I do NOT suggest practicing by a set of stairs! I realized this and moved before attempting my handstand).
The next step from here was to start walking my feet up the wall until my body reached 90 degrees (legs parallel with the floor) but I had this fear that I was going to go tumbling forward. I was certain that my body was aligned appropriately but Craig assured me that I wasn’t. How could I feel like I was holding the correct posture when I was so far off? I asked him to stand in front of me so that I could feel safe in knowing that I wouldn’t fall backwards, but even with him standing inches away I kept saying, ‘I’m going to fall, I’m going to fall!’ Realistically, I was nowhere near falling over. …want to see more? Yeah, me too! Maybe in a few more weeks I’ll actually be able to get to a 90 degree angle while someone ‘happens’ to have a camera nearby! Till then, I’ll keep practicing – and painting! Here is my latest finished yoga artwork:
I had such a hard time with this one; I don’t really know why, either – but choosing the right font took me two days! I just couldn’t make up my mind about anything. I’m glad that it’s done though, because now I can concentrate on something new.
Have a good weekend, everyone.