Resolute Inversions

The refreshment of a new year passing is palpable in the atmosphere of this town. The people walking down the streets seem less tense than the holiday shoppers observed in late December. They also seem a bit more.. resolute?

The reset button reminds me of the continual cycle of energy. Inhale, exhale. 2014, 2015. Preparation, execution, and preparing for the next step. Sometimes we forget to keep from blinking, and a whole year has passed without any consideration towards something that’s been lurking there, present the whole time but passing unaware. It can be really scary to address those undercurrents, but often those are where we gain the richest reward.

In a yoga practice, this can be easily addressed using postures. I haven’t achieved much progress in my handstand, which is something I feel like I have been working on since high school, and I took the time to reflect on why that is this morning. I set the intention, so long ago, the rest of the steps towards execution have remained unexplored. In order to set myself up for success, I thought I might change my approach to this pose. I recognize, unashamedly, that I haven’t set aside time to practice it much except for spontaneously jumping into it while taking the dog out for a walk or run. Why is that? I am outside, it’s a suitable space, there’s no reason not to, and it’s an expression of joy that I feel when I get to be outside in a beautiful environment, with a playful intention. For whatever reason, that is the magic recipe. I can’t expect myself to practice a regimented handstand every morning straight out of bed, so this time I won’t even try that approach. I will definitely need reminders, the more the better. Hopefully I will have enough playful creativity to make those reminders positive and not nagging.

I want to make it easy for myself, so maybe I will dedicate a space just for inversions, as it is a bit cold outside to be practicing yoga on the grass. Hopefully it can be on a path frequently tread.

Beyond the initial effort, I am also giving myself a time to reflect on these steps, and maybe add or subtract a few. Journalling will definitely help me check in and remind myself why I started in the first place. Setting tiny goals would give me even more motivation, and listing those goals might remind me to step it up and push myself through that evasive glass ceiling. That ceiling is literal and figurative, as it is physiologically kind of scary to be balancing in space, upside down in the air. I think the reptilian brain objects a bit, at first. Consciously, we are supposed to be afraid of falling, for our own self preservation. Yogically, what do we have to fear, really? The worst that can happen is that we fall, break our necks, and die in short order. Well, we are going to die someday, like it or not, and there is no objective reason to die this way or that way, or this time or that time. We are just lucky to be here, right now. Inversions are supposed to reverse the aging process. What if the stimulus of symbolic defiance of death in fact keeps you from aging, and eventually dying? There is only one way to find out!

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