At the beginning of the year, our fourth grade students were learning about bringing their passions into their everyday lives. Teachers were asked to come and share their passions with students, so I shared mine for yoga with my friend Marcey's class. When I talked about what I had learned from yoga, patience was at the top of the list. I am incredibly impatient especially when I really want something. I sometimes forget the work that has to come first. But with yoga (and consequently other areas of my life) I am constantly reminded that if I let go of the big picture and end result and just enjoy the journey, I will reach my goal.
Four years ago, the pose forearm balance seemed out of the realm of possibility. I only half-heartedly tried in classes that encouraged us to go to the wall and experiment. Then last year I started to try in a more genuine, earnest way - and it still seemed impossible. And then we just took a big long break from forearm balance in my regular class. It wasn't something that we were practicing and I certainly wasn't working on it at home. Until last week. I was doing a class through YogaGlo and all of a sudden a variation of forearm balance came into play. And I was feeling just gutsy enough to really make an effort (against the wall). And guess what? I did it! Out of the blue, beyond my expectations I was upside down, at least for a few seconds. Initially I was surprised until I realized that in the past year I have been doing lots of work without realizing it to get to this goal. And then suddenly the opportunity presented itself and I stepped up. It wasn't perfect, but there was something so satisfying in realizing how my patience was rewarded.
That said, just this past Thursday forearm balance made a sudden reappearance in my yoga class. I felt flustered by it, and really struggled to regain the confidence I'd had in my apartment just a few days earlier. The more I attempted the pose, the more frustrated I got, and the less successful I felt. I walked away from class feeling disappointed in myself and a little embarrassed. However, the next night I had a private yoga class, and worked through a lot of these feelings through conversations with my teacher and a more focused practice. I realized that the only way I would be successful with this pose was with patience, perseverance, and a little risk-taking. My teacher showed me some strategies that worked immediately, and while I am still struggling to get upside down in forearm balance and handstand, I certainly am getting a lot closer. I know I just need to trust myself and the process. Its a good lesson for me, and so directly applicable to my work with students. I'm excited to share this part of my own journey with them.