Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sweet Spot

Handstands make me happy.

Sounds odd, but it is true!

This month, I learned something new in yoga. We are incorporating Handstands at the start of our Vinyasas, the transition sequence of which we do many, moving from a low push up to a high push up and back to a downward facing dog.

For me, it is great fun, and I cannot believe how elated I get over it.

Really, I never would have thought that at 6 a.m. I would be happiest upside down, but this is so, and the feeling lasts all day.

Incorporating Handstands changes up the same old, and now the Vinyasas offer up an opportunity and a challenge as opposed to their normal reprieve from the practice.

In general, I am getting better and better at facing change. Just the other morning, someone I know well was telling me how much he likes structure in his life. I was surprised to hear this as he always seems so spontaneous to me, always making me feel like the one who needs a plan.

I was even more surprised to hear myself tell him that these days I find freedom in just being, in not always knowing my next step.

I used to be a big planner. Now, not so much. I find this helps me move more easily through my life’s flow. Now, I have come to appreciate the benefits of not always knowing, or having to know, what comes next. 

In case I miss my balance, I keep my mat close to the wall. And, after one or two regular Vinyasas, I start to incorporate the Handstand. 


Sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not. And it is kind of fun not knowing what will happen.

Once upon a time, I was all about lining things up. My work life, my home life, my personal life. And for a long time, for the most part, life did line up according to my plan. But, after a point, there were so many things out of my control that impacted all of my lives that I had no choice but to let them go.


When trying for the Handstand, the best feeling comes when not much effort is applied, when I just kick up and let one foot meet the other in mid-air. I never know if I will find the balance until I do and, when I do, it is always a sweet surprise. 

The practice allows for us to hold the Handstand if we find the balance and to come down in our own time, even if the class has moved forward through its Vinyasas. I find that, on the few occasions when I nail it, I can linger in that sweet spot for some length of time if I do not get too distracted.

What my time upside down has taught me is to recognize and be grateful for when I can find the sweet spot and just hang, and that it is often easier to do so without distraction and without the worries about what ifs and whatnots.

This is what I hear when our instructor tells us to keep on going -- to hang on to this time for as long as I can.

The other day, I bought my daughter a card. The words that filled the front read, Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is mystery, Today is a gift.

I think today is the sweet spot.

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