Alternative title : Quite frankly it sounds like something I should see my GP about getting some cream for … In actual fact, it just means “Unsupported Shoulder stand”. Yes folks, I’m talking yet another Yoga Milestone!
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts (mostly my Pole Dancing ones) I have a bit of a fear of Inversions … And like all good fears, it’s amazing to defeat them! For many months I have been doing shoulder stands as part of my regular Ashtanga class, trying to focus on core strength, balance and breathing (and yes, my boobs are still trying to kill me). Learning to trust myself in that pose, learning that it’s ok to fall out of it and try again but just to take it slow and be patient.
This week I got myself into Salamba Sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand) and then, with a “holy shit” … I released my arms.
The biggest piece of advice I was given by my Yogi Guru (K) was “let go of the expectation”, because I had spent so much time consumed by the expectation of doing the asana I was putting myself under far too much pressure and getting exasperated when it didn’t go to plan. By letting go of the expectation it allowed me to just be in the moment, to feel the movements, to actually be in tune with what my body was experiencing. There was no disappointment if I fell out of the pose because ultimately yoga is about practice … I will always be a student as there will always be something new to learn.
Without having the added pressure of expectation I felt more in sync with the pose, so much so that letting go of my arms felt perfectly natural. My body was strong, the pose held and I was able to just experience it. The idea of feeling completely at ease in an inversion has been such an alien concept to me for so long that it made me giggle; a relieved, happy giggle. An ‘anything is possible’ giggle.
From Sarvangasana I moved into Halasana (plow pose) still giggling at myself which is surprisingly difficult to do with your feet over your head.
Letting go of expectation has been a valuable lesson to me … And again, this lesson is not just relevant on the yoga mat.
Apparently the Sarvangasanas (and most inversions) are great for stimulating the Thyroid (which from where I’m standing – well sitting – is always a major bonus being Hypothyroid and all!) as it activates the Throat Chakra Vishuddha (which is also amazing for creative expression), relieving Depression, improving digestion and helps with Insomnia!
Wish me luck as I go to weightlifting before my next yoga class … I’m prepping my body to be stronger for the more intense inversions. Headstands, I will be the boss of you … Then I’m all about handstands! Send positive yogi vibes as I’m not entirely sure how the weights thing is going to go … Hopefully I won’t drop anything on my foot (yes I’ve done that before!).