a few years ago i was in a workshop where the instructor was trying to teach us how to press up into handstand. all around the room, desperate yogis were jumping, hopping, kicking up…anything they could do to get into that handstand.
then there was me. the only person in the room stuck in uttanasana (standing forward bend). i wasn’t going anywhere. anywhere. i assume that from the outside it may have looked like i was the only person in the room who wasn’t trying.
au contraire, mon frere.
in fact, i was the only person in the entire workshop who was actually doing what the teacher asked. i was trying to press up into handstand and i simply couldn’t do it. for half-an-hour, i pressed and pressed my hands into the floor–sometimes my legs would lift an inch or two–and went basically nowhere. but i was trying my ass off.
too often in yoga class–as in life–we pay so much attention to the end result (i.e. the handstand), that we forget the process, the work, the purpose of what we are doing.
no one is born doing a handstand. no one is born pressing up. this stuff takes a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of effort. there are baby steps involved. but our egos don’t want baby steps. they want the party tricks!
so they get frustrated. because party tricks take time. and they usually require a lot of falling. or, even worse, going absolutely nowhere for a long, long time.
but then one day you wake up and voila! you’re pressing into handstand!