Two weeks ago Wednesday, I did my first unassisted headstand in yoga. Not the tripod version, hands and head, but the forearms and head version. All shoulders, core, and back, plus a lot of balance. Which is not, might I add, a matter of getting into the right place and going rigid like iron and holding it. It's a constant in-and-out, correct and overcorrect and breath and shift and recover dynamic process which occasionally ends in a crash to the mat. I have spent the last two weeks getting into the curled-up ball version, legs tucked, hips over shoulders. I haven't dared the straight legs--a combination of the clutter of the old apartment, and the awareness that if I went over, I'd get hurt among the boxes, and the old doubt and fear of what if I can't do this again?
Today, I replicated the full extension on the floor of the new apartment and held it for 5 breaths. That is fairly weenie, as major inversions go--5 breaths!--but for me, it was kinda monumental. It is one thing to get hips over shoulders over elbows with the instructor right there in case you go over. It's quite another to do it with only the cats as witness. Sirsasana is no longer 'that pose I will be able to do someday' or 'that pose I managed with Juris watching that one time.' It's one of many poses I can just do.
I should not be crazy-proud of myself, but I am. I wanted to get this before 40, and I did. I am terrified of inversions. And for years, I just wasn't strong enough. I have a lot of my mass in my lower half. I had to get the shoulders caught up to the thighs. And, let us be honest! ...it was a serious challenge. I am not just in yoga for the wellness and the mental health. I want the arm balances. The hard stuff. The things that push my boundaries and my comfort level. Headstand scared the poop out of me last year. Now it doesn't.