one lovely day many years ago, i was lucky enough to attend an amazing, exclusive, private workshop with a world famous yogi who offered to teach a handful of people how to press into handstand.
for a few hours, the group of us pushed and pressed our way through the material. everyone in the room was hopping and jumping just to get off the $%&@# floor. except me. i was trying my damnedest just to press up.
as a result everyone in the room got off the floor. except me. my toes might as well have been glued to the earth at that point.
now, given the title of this post, you probably think i’m going to say that i went to an awesome yoga workshop and got absolutely nothing out of it.
i’m going to say the exact opposite.
i went to an awesome yoga workshop and was the only one to get anything out of it.
you see, you can’t learn to press by jumping any more than you can learn to ride a bike by sewing.
but, people in general are stubborn. and impatient. the fine folks in the workshop didn’t want to learn how to press, they wanted to stroke their egos. hell if they were going to spend three hours standing in uttanasana, futilely pressing their hands into the floor and getting absolutely nowhere. hell if they were going to put in the actual work of the workshop. hell if they were going to admit “their way” just wasn’t working.
now, you know how this press into handstand story ends. these days i can press up in my sleep…but that skill was years in the making. years spent as a landlubber, getting pretty much nowhere. until…i got somewhere.
these days, i teach people all over the world how to handstand and in every workshop we have huge breakthroughs. we break barriers and demystify the process while still having a fun, fabulous time.
but just about every handstand workshop, i also have that one person who already “knows it all”. typically, it’s someone who can kick up to the wall and sort of pull their feet off the wall…but can’t actually balance.
s/he comes to my workshop (not sure why) and while i break down the pose step-by-step, building from the foundational baby steps up, that person is just doing his or her own thing. the same old trick over and over and over again. kick up, feet off wall, fall down. kick up, feet off wall, fall down. kick up…
i guess my first question is why would anyone bother coming to (and paying for) a workshop only to practice the same technique that hasn’t worked for them for the past however many years? they could do that in their bedroom.
ultimately, a lot of people come to workshops, but don’t want to do the baby steps. they don’t get the concept that unless you have a strong foundation, you can’t build a house. they think they are too advanced or maybe just too cool.
but here’s what happens…
at the end of the workshop everyone in the class has learned to be confident practicing handstand in the middle of the room. except one person. because s/he’s still stuck, kicking up to the wall, feet off the wall, falling down, kicking up to the wall, feet off the wall, falling down…