Why I Love Headstands

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People say you always have a choice. I spend a lot of time thinking about this concept. I did not choose for my fiancé to be killed in a war. I did not choose the enormous pain and sadness that embodies my grief. However, I do choose to find my way out the dark times. It took me time to consistently find that light. With great awareness, practice and time I can decide how I handle what shows up in my life. I spent many days and nights choosing to numb my emotions with drinking and hours of staring at shows like The Jersey Shore and reruns of Beverly Hills 90210; these were not proud moments! All my focus and energy went to being there for my son and working. So after he went to sleep, I would do anything to change the channel on my reality. In those moments, I did not feel that I had choices. For the first couple years, it felt like survival mode. Please know, it wasn’t always all encompassing; but it often felt like it. I had many ups and embodied the gratitude of being a mom. I was living: nurturing and caring for my son day to day, taking him on ski trips to Vail, surfing and volunteering in Panama, walking on fire (that’s for another article) and serving others through my work as a Social Worker and Reiki Master. Yet, I was not ready to move through the emotions that came with missing Ben and the life I was “supposed to” have. I kept myself really busy so that my mind and heart didn’t have the time to catch up to one another. There are many people and experiences that supported my healing and I could never have gone through that part of my life alone. I would like to share how a small piece of yoga shifted my thoughts and actions.

Over time, yoga has become a part of my healing, exploration of faith, peace and the community to search for the “meaning of it all”. As a runner, I decided I was ready to practice more yoga to balance and stretch my physical body. I was always drawn to the spiritual practice as well but it took time for my heart to open to all the gifts of yoga. I really struggled with quieting my mind and being in stillness continues to take a lot of practice. During the quiet spaces of my practice, light and peace appeared in beautiful ways. The idea of shavasana used to get me in a tizzy. Now, as I am in the midst of yoga teacher training I am eager to create space for rest and compassionate self-love.

So why do I love headstands? Headstands are an opportunity to choose to literally flip your perspective upside down. I accept that every time I prepare and experience a headstand it’s different. Sometimes I feel fear as I enter the pose; which often results in falling; this is ok. I “fall” in life off the mat often. It’s all in my perspective that there is no perfect headstand. Most of the time, I enter the pose with excitement. I embrace the shaking and trust my strength. I surrender to the fact that I can sustain my initiative to be turned around. My upside down perspective may shed light or information in a different way: on and off the mat. I invite the opportunity to choose to experience my physical, emotional and spiritual self from a different angle. My headstand practice mirrors this exact idea in my day to day life. And then, breathing deeply, I feel the power, the shift, the comfort and the bliss. I know I can do this; smile and enjoy the variation and transformation.

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