I can do perfect headstands and forearm balances. At the wall. The funny thing is, I never even touch the wall, nor am I right up against it. It’s my inversion security blanket that I just can’t seem to ditch. In Jivamukti classes, we often do both sirsasana and pincha mayurasana, and I slink over to my wall space hoping the teacher won’t yell at me. It’s the same sort of embarrassment as when you’re younger, and you realize that your blankie is sort of a baby thing, but no way are you getting rid of it.
Of course I’ve had my shining moments where I’ve been able to do these poses away from the wall. But they aren’t comfortable. I feel the emptiness around me, the lack of support just in case something happens. Well, yeah, ‘just in case’ we would always prefer to have a back up, right? I sense that distinct possibility that I could just tumble over into that emptiness and – gasp – hurt myself. I’ve struggled with this for years. The poses have evolved and advanced, but my mindset has stayed the same. Oops.
It doesn’t take a therapy session to draw a parallel to my life. I thrive with structure and support. Spontaneity, for the most part, scares me. I need to plan, and I excel at it. (Hopefully someone out there who knows me can attest to the fact that I can be fun. Really!) When we came over to London, the only certainty we had was that husband was going to be super duper busy. We knew we’d have a place to live, but we didn’t know where. We hoped our 5 year old would be able to have the amazing opportunity to go to school here, but the chances appeared slim. I was on shaky ground with all these unknowns (read: lack of “wall”). But like yoga poses, every day things evolved and now here we are, feeling as grounded and supported as we can possibly be as ex-pats. And having a fabulous time with it all, I might add.
Sometimes when we come away from the wall, we might fall, but we also might conquer some of our fears and bust out the most gorgeous yoga pose (or outcome) ever. Find small ways to move away from the walls in your life and see how you bloom.
Btw, I had someone spot me while coming up into pincha mayurasana before this picture was taken by Larry Stanley.