I have been wanting to try some more-challenging yoga balances for a while, so when an email with details of a workshop pinged into my inbox I took it as a sign that the time had come for me to take flight.
|Messing about in Crow Pose|
Perhaps jumping straight into a three hour session was a little ambitious, but I suspected that I would take something valuable from the workshop even if I sucked at getting upside down.
As it turns out, I didn't completely suck, hurrah! My upper body strength is improving all the time, and benefitted hugely from a really thorough warm up- think loads of chaturanga. The tutor took us through some variations of Crow pose, to arm balances and beyond to handstands and headstands, and consequently the time just zipped by.
The next day my neck ached like crazy, and so did the muscles around my hips. I took this as evidence of just how inversions can get your muscle groups working together in completely unique ways.
Now, I'm not for a moment claiming that after just three hours now suddenly I can make beautiful shapes in the air. Not for a second! And I definitely don't have the core strength yet to float my legs up slowly- I'm still very much a kicker for the time being. But, I think the main things that I gained were the knowledge of how to try various balances safely in my own practice, and the confidence to go ahead and do so.
If you're toying with taking the same leap in your yoga practice, I'd definitely recommend that you go on a workshop: it's the best way to get specific help. Working in a dedicated yoga space puts you in a different frame of mind, and seeing that it's ok to just keep trying even if you don't make it to graceful inversion yet is reassuring. Plus, some things are a lot easier with someone to catch your legs and tell you whether you are aligned!
I look forward to lots more work upside down.