Stupid yoga tricks / by vanessa

There are two postures I absolutely hate because I feel like a failure every time I try them: forearm balance and handstand. Let me explain: in the studio I practice at, either or both are taught EVERY SINGLE CLASS. Every class! Instead of taking everyone to the wall, instructors usually encourage you to pair up with someone your own height, the idea being that if you use the wall a) it's likely that your alignment is off and b) you'll never get away from it. So I always pair up and what I usually hear is this: “oh you probably don't need a spot.” I always want to say, “I feel like I shouldn't need a spot, I mean, Jesus, I've been practicing for 6 years, can hold several different variations on headstand for a while, and lots of other yoga tricks, but umm, yeah, I need a frickin' spot on this one.” Instead, I sheepishly demur.

The thing that bothers me the most -- why these two are total thorns in my side -- is because I know that what's preventing me from staying up on my own is totally mental. I'm strong enough, I have good balance, and I'm not afraid of falling out of something like headstand, so, intellectually, these should be a piece of cake… a walk in the park… uhh, simple.


Which of course has little place in a yoga practice.

And what does it mean to stand on your hands, anyway? It's not like at the end of my life, or even next week, someone's gonna say, "Remember when she used to do handstand? That was so cool." At least I hope they don't. And yet, here I am, in this love/hate relationship with some stupid yoga postures because I believe at some level, I suppose, that it says something about me. There's an Eckhart Tolle quote which says something to the effect that "... of all the things you think you are, you are none of those things." I'll leave it at that.


And thank you, Alo, for capturing my darkest moment of NYE digitally. This was taken at the Side Bar, in what I suspect are moments before I was tapped on the shoulder and told, "Ummm, ma'am? You can't sleep in the bar." Oh. Right then.