Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Yoga Fears

Just last week, I confessed to you that I was afraid of camel pose. It has always stretched out my throat in a way that feels like choking to me, makes me feel vulnerable and anxious and off-balance, and most of the time I choose another asana to try instead (usually, child's pose...). But last week I gave it a go, and during my double yoga this weekend, I tried it again.

And today, I tried it again. And NAILED IT.

Turns out, not so scary.

For a basic camel pose (not the crazy advanced one that I will never ever do), you start on your knees, hips width distance apart, put your hands on your lower back and arch backwards, tracing your gaze along the ceiling to the wall behind you. That's as far as I've ever tried to go before, but with the little bit of confidence gained from trying the pose a few times, today I realized I was bent back far enough that all I had to do was drop my hands from my back to my heels, and bam.

I was in full camel.

When I came out of it, a rush of adrenaline and emotion and energy and pride came over me and I actually laughed out loud a little bit, and looked around for someone to share my joy with. Alas, there was no one but my own reflection. But she was really happy for me.

It was just awesome. One of my first completely organic moments of pure yoga achievement.

I do have some other yoga fears, too. And now that I have faced my camel fear and realized it wasn't so bad after all, I want to tackle every last one and stop avoiding them.

Let's assess.

  • Dolphin pose. Again, I find it chokes me, the way my shoulders are crunched up by my throat...do not like. I'm probably doing it wrong.
  • Headstands. They hurt the top of my head and I secretly fear that my skull is softer than a normal person's and if I try to do one I'm going to crush my brain. I also fear falling over onto the person in front of me and breaking them. I also worry that I'm just too fat, still.
  • Handstands, see above with the falling and the fat.
  • Malasana/garland pose/yogi squat. I'm not really afraid of it so much as I'm not quite flexible enough for it yet and it sort of makes me worry I'm going to break a hip like an old person.
  • Actually passing out in class. It's never happened but I'm still afraid it might. This is why I still get to the studio at least 10 minutes early so I can always get a spot in the back of the room on the side closest to the door...just in case I need to escape.
  • Being next to Ryan Gosling the one time I fall on my ass and make a fool of myself doing something really easy.
  • One day getting bored of my practice. I never want to lose the new passion I've found in yoga.

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