I wanted to share with you a helpful video for those who wish to further explore opportunities and postures in their yoga practice: how to safely fall out of inversions such as headstand, tripod headstand as well as handstand. On the same note, however, I wish to reiterate the importance of Ahimsa – a Sanskrit term that means ‘to do no harm.’ In addition to being receptive to what our bodies tell us on a physical level, I believe that we should also be mindful during our practice to soothe the chatter in our minds. Ego, being the loudest of all, can be incredibly difficult to suppress as we almost always strive to one-up ourselves and/or others. Perhaps we gaze longingly at how deeply our neighbor sinks into her warrior pose, or we catch ourselves peeking hopelessly at he who floats into pincha mayurasana without so much as a hair out of place. The danger lies therein: I find that we tend to succumb ourselves to comparison, when there is, in reality, nothing to compare. How can one possibly match their abilities to another when no two bodies function the exact same way? There are a variety of factors that play into how our egos overwhelm us, and one of them includes eroding what it means to ‘do no harm.’
Let’s extend this concept to reflect upon ourselves. Admittedly, I find myself comparing my own abilities to others’ from time to time – even without me knowing it. I have even become frustrated at why my classmates are able to lift into inversions in the middle of the room, while I was perpetually glued closely to the wall. After all, it was my safety blanket and the sole source of comfort whenever I chose to invert at the end of my practice. There was a point in time when the idea of balancing on my hands seemed impossible; believe it or not, coming into headstand absolutely petrified me even with the comfort of drywall behind my feet. That’s what happens when we progress further in our yoga journey, we find ourselves with various opportunities to open doors to explore challenging and more exciting asanas. However, like every asana, we do not always nail it the first time… otherwise, how boring would our journey be? Factors such as feeling our body parts working in conjunction with each other, being in tune with our ujjayi breathing, as well as calming incessant chatter within our minds are all a part of what each posture and each transition symbolizes. Yoga has taught me remember two crucial ideals: 1.) there is always room to learn and 2.) always make an effort to eradicate ego. By this, I have come to realize that I will probably fail at my first attempt with a challenging posture, but I shall remain mindful of what my body is telling me. Rushing unprepared into unfamiliar territory can be dangerous and invites injury to not only yourself, but others. Progressing in our personal journeys inevitably means the chance to deeply explore more challenging postures, but as this video demonstrates, there are ways to do so safely and slowly. Remember the concept of Ahimsa: non-violence. Patrick explains how to safely fall out of inversions and to slowly move away from the wall that so often binds us to fear:
Until next time, yogis! May your practice be mindful, healing and most importantly, safely explorative. I hope this video will help you in your journey as much as it did me. Namaste.