When I started my 200-hour Yoga certification course back in October last year, I had one goal in mind. Nope, it wasn’t to complete it and pass the exam. My goal was to do a handstand just like my amazing Yogi friends on Instagram and all the Yogi celebs in the magazines.
About half way into the course we arrived on the weekend we were to learn inversions (AKA handstands) and I was determined to nail it. My background in fitness told me if I strengthened the muscle groups required to do this incredibly coveted pose I would surely succeed. So for weeks I trained my lats with assisted pull-ups, did overhead presses with dumbbells and tricep extensions with cables. I increased the weight I pushed each week to build my strength and experienced the expected days of sore and fatigued muscles. But when the day finally came to practice handstands, there I was next to the wall I was supposed to use for assistance engulfed in fear and anxiety. In the back of my head I knew I couldn’t do it. Epic fail.
What the heck was wrong with me?!
I checked off all of the requirements needed to perform a handstand. Even our teacher said I had all the components needed so why couldn’t I do it? Simple answer:
Overwhelming fear of completely eating it and landing flat on my face was so intense and so real that my body physically would not allow me to do it. So there I sat. Looking at all the other Yogis-in-training kick there feet up over their head and successfully land in a beautiful handstand. Immediately my fear was replaced by embarrassment and shame. What kind of Yogi am I??
I left class that day feeling both humbled and defeated.
Over the following weeks our teacher would include headstand as part of the practice. Lucky me. And each time my body would flood with anxiety with each pathetic attempt and then immediately following, it would be engulfed with embarrassment as the class moved forward with the practice.
I’m a firm believer that psychological fear somehow always presents itself as a physical fear. So I began to look at my present life. What am I still scared to death to do but at the same time want so desperately?
Last week, I finally figured it out.
I want to create a monumental change in the fitness industry and I do not want to half-ass it anymore. I want to fully and completely demonstrate that I believe in health at every size even if it means losing clients or not getting any new ones, but the thought of doing ‘what sells’ keeps me stuck. The fear of a failing business keeps me stuck. It’s time to start moving toward this fear even if I fall flat on my face; this is what my yoga certification taught me.
Tomorrow I teach my first ever yoga class and I am pretty much scared to death. Not because I hope to get all my cueing correct, but because I will be attempting to inspire change in a way I have never done before. It’s a first step in what I hope is an amazing new journey and I hope to share it with you.