Yoga Day 34 – Handstands (AGAIN)

Handstands make me crazy.  They make me cry; they make me act badly, eat emotionlly, shop irrationally, and generally act embarassingly.  Or, to clarify, handstands show how completely crazy I can be (which is CRAZY).

To wit.  I should understand my body’s reluctance to hoist more than 200 pounds of weight above my weak wrists, elbows, and shoulders, and just work where I am at, like I do with arm balance exercises closer to the ground.  But I should also understand that 6 years out of law school, I am not going to first chair a two million dollar jury trial.  Neither of these things happen if the universe operates as it should.

Oh but let me tell you how I personally believe I can force these things to happen.  I’ll spare the description of the crazy places I can go in terms of judging myself or believing that if two tiny things were different, I could do it.

The facts of the matter is that it takes a long, long time before a lawyer has sufficient wisdom, experience, judgment, and well, PRACTICE to try a multi-million dollar case.  Would they let me try a $50,000 case?  Probably, but those don’t really happen in my line of work.  In my world, a $50,000 case is like a tree pose.  We handle them quickly, efficiently, and try to do it without losing focus or falling over (or going to trial).  So right now, I can manage a tree pose (and not even a hard one).

But I can’t manage a handstand (or a forearm balance) because I have been at this for maybe 2-3 months, and only the last 40 or so with any great diligence.  My shoulders and wrists and forearms are SO, SO much stronger than they were in June (just like I am much, much more experienced as an attorney than I was 4 years ago),  and I am able to find and improve new poses every day.  But just like winning a summary judgment or other complicated motion doesn’t mean I am ready to defend against a huge lawsuit, 2 months of work also doesn’t mean I am ready to get those hips above my shoulders and onto the wall.

I need to stop expecting myself to do things beyond my experience and practice level.

So here is the deal.  For the next 4 weeks, I am going to work on hopping on one leg and kicking up in downward facing dog AWAY from the wall.  I am going to work on pike and bent leg lifts AWAY from the wall. I’m going to work on scissoring my legs AWAY from the wall.  And to push my core strength, I’ll work on Ls against the wall on my hands (MAYBE my forearms, but this scares me).  I am going to have no expectation of catching air.  I am simply going to torture my wrists, elbows, arm muscles, shoulders, hips and hamstrings.  Operation Get Stronger.  In 28 days, I might go back to the wall.  Or I might throw in some core torture and try it again.

To repeat a mantra my beloved painting and drawing teachers used to say, “I might not be able to support my body with my hands the way I want to, but with time and practice, I’ll get better and better.”

Coming up, yoga days 31-33 and maybe something not about yoga?  Nah.  How about thinking like a yogini and yogatunes?  Maybe a couple book reviews? (And some light fashion because losing weight is making me want to dress up!)


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