The magic of headstands

Asana practice has been part of my life for about a decade, but from a mind-spirit perspective, yoga has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. Since becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I've been craving deeper knowledge of yoga - philosophy, anatomy, mind-body-spirit connection etc. This past September, I started my first yoga teacher training with the Internal Peace Initiative. I'm lucky to be learning alongside so many wonderful people from some truly amazing teachers/mentors. This weekend marked the half-way point. And I've learned more than I ever imagined I would. 

I've always admired yogis who were able to do headstands. They always seem so strong, so confident, almost magical. Even though I've been practicing the asanas for years, the idea of being in a headstand was terrifying to me. Flipping the world upside-down, the possibility of injury to my precious spine, and other people seeing me fail always kept me from even attempting it. When I first enrolled in my training, I thought to myself, maybe I'll be able to do a headstand by the end of it. Then I verbalized it while talking to my mom, which somehow makes it an official "goal".

This past weekend we did a clinic on backbends and inversions. I knew this coming, and I still doubted that I would actually even attempt a headstand. Too scary. I'm not strong enough. I'm not confident enough. I'm going to hurt myself. I'm not advanced enough. Those were the thoughts swirling around my mind. Even while it was being demonstrated and I was observing. 

I watched my fellow students as they did their inversions, some had done it before, others hadn't. Then, there was a pause in time. A shift inside me where the idea of doing a headstand went from not even an option to a consideration. It moved from consideration to "I'm going to do this" and I walked up to the mat. With the supportive energy of my fellow students and my teachers, I went for it. And for the first time, I did a headstand. Something I had admired in others for so long is now part of myself. I am strong enough, I am confident enough. I do believe in myself. And that's the magic. 

A few poses later, I found myself with my legs up the wall under a window. The sky was actually blue - for the first time I've seen this colour in weeks - with a few tiny fluffy clouds floating by. Completely overwhelmed, I watched the sky and my eyes welled with cathartic tears. As they rolled down my temples, I smiled with gratitude. 

Reaching this personal milestone at the half-way point in my teacher training makes me incredibly excited for the second half of this journey. It also makes me incredibly grateful for the people I'm sharing this journey with.