Perfect Moment Monday: Changing my mind

February 6, 2011

in Perfect Moment

For over a year, I’ve been making a conscious effort to re-examine thoughts I have about myself, and to ease up on locking my limited self in boxes.

I did so last January when I morphed from the woman who couldn’t bear to think about LASIK to the woman who sees clearly now.

My recent perfect moment has to do with salamba sirsasana, more commonly known as headstand. And no, I didn’t do one.

One thing to know about salamba sirasana is that you don’t really stand on your head. The top of your head barely touches the ground. You’re supposed to balance instead on your forearms, so the pose requires shoulder and core strength. Like other inversion poses, headstand is terrific for circulation, for brain function, for digestion, and for seeing with a new perspective.

The box I had myself in?

  • I hate being upside down.
  • I couldn’t do a headstand even if I wanted to, which I don’t.
  • I’m not strong enough.
  • The pose is always going to be way beyond me.

I would watch enviously as my fellow yoginis (I’m looking at you!) would ease into salamba sirasana in the middle of the room as if it were Watching them generated decidedly un-compassionate and un-yogic thoughts.

I spent 4 years practicing yoga before I peeked out of the box. About 6 months ago I ventured to try salamba sirasana against a wall. The first time I did so for about eight-tenths of a second. From one of the next 25 times I tried against the wall — each time getting a little longer — I ended up with a small burst blood vessel in my eye.

See? I said to my scared self. Safer to stay in the box.

But my brave self prevailed, and about 2 weeks ago I was able to not only maintain a headstand for several breaths against the wall, but also to move my feet away from the wall.

This was huge.  I could now sense in my body what the pose feels like. I’ve got some muscle memory.

This week in a yoga class, I attempted salamba sirasana in the middle of the room. I didn’t get all the way up, but I was able to hoist both sets of toes off the mat, poised to pike up. It lasted eight-tenths of a second, but made the crack in the box that much bigger.

The goal is in sight. I know that someday soon I will add salamba sirasana to the list of asanas I can do.

This sense of progress and of mind over matter gave me a perfect moment.


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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

a February 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Ooh…that’s awesome! Keep up the good work!

I don’t think I’ve tried to stand on my head in about 30 years. It gave me a headache. Now I just limit myself to handstands in the pool!


Sheri February 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Congratulations for opening the “box” and facing your fears!

I’m celebrating with you!!!

Each time I push my limits — on and off the mat — it can be scary, but the feeling of accomplishment, is, well…Perfect!

Thanks for sharing your Perfect Moment!


RobinJP February 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Glad you opened that box. It’s amazing how we define ourselves. My post today … Do the Distance .. is about how I’ve moved away from seeing myself as a runner. I fell away from that last year. Started to move back toward it today.

You are a woman who owns salamba sirsasana. Go girl.


Tami February 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Perspective is so interesting!

So many times I have watched in envy as you flow into eagle, crow, side crow … So many asanas that throw me flat on my literal face.

I think you could stand to give yourself a little more credit. Even if it means standing on your head.


Kristin February 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Way to go Lori! I could do that way back in the 5th grade but I sure can’t do it now.


Kir February 7, 2011 at 5:34 am

WOW, what an awesome place to be ….so envious of all the amazing stuff you do.
but who could be surprised, you are, in fact, AMAZING :)


Jamie February 7, 2011 at 7:54 am

Wow! I am in awe!


Mel February 7, 2011 at 9:37 am

Damn lady — I knew you were emotionally strong; but it’s nice to see you practicing physical strength too.


Hannah February 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

Way to go! I hope someday to give my box to charity and live completely independent of it. I have a long way to go but you are a huge inspiration.


Suzy February 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

Isn’t amazing when you open the box and you realize you CAN do it! Way to go!


luna February 7, 2011 at 11:51 am

you are awesome. that freaks me out too.


ERica February 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I need to think outside of the box and start doing yoga! I have been meaning to for a couple of years. It’s pathetic. Good for you! Must feel good.


geochick February 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I feel the same way about headstand. I can do it against the wall but am terrified to try on the middle of the room.

Congrats on taking the leap!


Baby Smiling In Back Seat February 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

You’re not supposed to put weight on your head? Oh. That explains a lot.

Good job!


flyingmonkeys February 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

That is fantastic! I’m thinking about trying a Saturday yoga class with this awesome mat I won this one time…: ) (I currently use it for basic stretching, not real yoga.)


Quiet Dreams February 10, 2011 at 11:43 am

You inspire me so much to step out of my comfortable little boxes (so warm and cozy!) into bigger and better things.


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