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Handstands and my ego!



I can’t do a handstand, I don’t even like doing the L shape handstand at the wall. I feel like I am so overpowering my wrists and feel super unsafe and just get all worn down and stressed out when I try so now, I just don’t practice! I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact I am unlikely to ever get ‘there’ whatever ‘there’ represents.


Despite my years of yoga practice and most definitely an improved posture, I still live with slight kyphosis in my shoulders – that means my shoulders hunch forward. It’s too many years working at a desk and on a laptop for years. I wish I had started yoga in earnest just a bit younger! As a child I had poor posture too, I was hopeless at sports, I was much more the academic type than athletic. I have never been able to do a cartwheel, do wheel (or crab pose as the kids called it). The first time I did a headstand was in a yoga class.

Don’t get me wrong I love an inversion - just my version is headstand (at the wall) or supported shoulder stand. I use a yoga wheel (my new best friend) to do a half handstand and that feels like plenty enough for me.


So why is this important? I think deep down I feel a fraud - a yoga teacher who can’t do a handstand, what am I thinking teaching others when my own practice is limited. Logically, I know if I have students who want to want to work on these poses that are out of my reach I have plenty of great teachers I can refer them on to and I know that’s not what yoga is about, but my ego can be pretty noisy telling me otherwise!


I’m not shy talking about my own limitations in my practice while I am teaching. But on Monday I am attending a handstand workshop and I expect I will be alongside some of my students, some of whom I am sure can do a handstand and this has me feeling insecure and nervous. Showing ‘weakness’ in my practice in such an open way seems very exposing. BUT I really want to learn from the teacher, so I am going to have to suck it up! I’m going to do my best to leave my ego at the door, and in that room remember I am a student not the teacher and if others judge me that’s up to them. It’s going to be a good learning experience for many reasons. All I know is all the interesting stuff happens at the edge of your comfort zone, so I’ll try and remember that on Monday as I take another step to the edge!

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