Mostly I like to think of myself as strong and fearless.
Sometimes I am and sometimes I am shit scared.
This week I looked a fear in the face and
ran away from it.
My nemesis in yoga is upward bow or wheel pose – the sanskrit name is Urdhva Dhanurasana.
The entry level in wheel pose is to push up from a bridge pose, which looks something like this:
Both bridge pose and wheel pose rely on two main things – leg strength and butt strength. Rodney Yee counsels that you should not attempt wheel pose unless you can support it with strong glutes and deliciously open hip flexors.
I am rather partial to Rodney Yee so I have given heed to his advice.
For a long LONG time I would go no higher in Wheel Pose than the version above.
Anything higher than that would crunch into my lower back and cause me a huge amount of discomfort.
I learned to deal with my ego.
The ego used to encourage me (with Gollum like whispers) to try to drop back into wheel from standing. A bit like this…
I can’t of course because that is crazy yoga voodoo.
What I have done, day by day is to push up from bridge pose into this position.
This week, quite by accident, I found myself in a position where I was in a deep back bend against the wall on blocks. It looked a bit like this
It felt good.
It actually felt awesome.
‘Walk your hands up the wall’ my teacher suggested lightly.
‘Now walk them back down the wall to your blocks’.
I sort of did until I was about an inch of the way away from the blocks. The block stared up at me. I growled back at it. There we were, immovable object meets immobile yogi.
The block won.
Later I wondered why I find it so hard to trust my own judgment.
I guess it is a common problem.
Post-script: If you fancy conquering your own better judgment there is a useful blog tutorial by Annie at Supportive Yoga here here
Photo credit above: Chauncey Harrison ‘The Elegant Klutz’