“If you could do this, you wouldn’t be doing this,” Tony said to us in class today. That’s what practice is for.
We were calming things down in Sarvangasana (shoulderstand), after doing about 20 back bends. It was not long after I had a spontaneous, celebratory verbal outburst — a loud, exclamatory “Tah dah!” after getting into a particularly challenging variation of Urdhva Danurasana (wheel pose) — with my feet up on the edge of a chair. Oops. Not my typical demeanor in class, but it seemed like I really wasn’t going to be able to do it, and then I did it! It was more about setting my mind to it than any particular muscular effort.
Today I read this quotation from John W. Gardner, as the email signature line from Lisa, who cuts my hair: “We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluable problems.”
There are so many ways to take this. How we deal with self-doubt, persistence, and celebration of unexpected opportunities. As Tony basically said: We are capable of much more than we think. Along the self-doubt continuum (which has been dragging on me heavily lately!), it was great to be challenging myself in ways that required a focused mind and a strong effort in the body. So much about self-doubt — questioning our decisions, abilities, possibilities — is about over-thinking it. Oh yeah, Tony also said: “You guys think too much.” Words from the wise.
So another great class sets things right in body and spirit. And then, to make sure I can do stairs tomorrow, there was the hot bath with sea salt and baking soda when I got home….