Last night I went to Zumba with Matthew, as I often do, and he talked me into staying late for yoga afterwards. I’d already worked out that morning, then played my last league tennis match of the season mid-day. We were already planning to be in another yoga class, at another gym, early the next morning. The point is—I didn’t really need or even want to do yoga!
But I stayed, and something really cool happened.
When I first started doing yoga 5 years ago, I found holding the Plank really daunting. I couldn’t do it for 60 seconds. Now Plank makes me yawn. Five minutes straight, in Plank? Eh.
I was also so intimidated by balance poses where only the hands are on the floor. I’d see people doing them and tell myself that there was NO WAY–because I was the ridiculous spaz in gymnastics when I was a kid. Couldn’t even do a cartwheel. For a while, then, I didn’t even try Crow, Side Crow, etc.
After a year or two, I found myself doing all those balance poses. And holding them for 30 seconds or more. I can almost do the splits. I can go into a full squat on the floor with my feet touching each other. I can do Plow with most of my legs over my head in complete contact with the floor behind me. I could never have done any of these things when I was 16 years old.
There’s just one thing I had never done. A headstand. Never even tried it! It looked hard and scary.
Anyway, after my long day, late last night, I was in Crow and found myself accidentally tipping forward. The top of my head was on my mat, and my whole body was in the perfect pose to lift into a headstand–knees on my elbows.
So I did. And I held it for a couple of seconds before toppling on my back—THWAT!!–right next to Matthew, startling him and making a bunch of people near me laugh out loud.
So this morning, we went to the other yoga class, and I found myself in the same position. I lifted into a headstand and just held it, perfectly. For close to a minute.
Isn’t this just the way of life?
We keep doing the right thing, keep practicing, messing up sometimes, and sometimes we don’t even notice how massive our progress has been! Because it was so gradual. This morning I had the elated thought, “OMG! I am kinda good at yoga!” (I never realized it….I was still in that beginner’s place of thinking of the things I couldn’t do, or hadn’t tried, and comparing myself to the teacher.)
What does this have to do with our whole-foods lifestyle, yours and mine? Well, you can think about that, but I’ll write about it tomorrow.