Obligatory Pink Floyd:
Now that’s off my chest, let’s go to what this post really is about. Yep, it’s a post about ego and the little tricks it plays on our brain everyday. All that brain space spent worrying because of nothing, that’s the Ego playing its game.
Recently, I’ve been going back to the wall to practice headstand. Not that I can’t do it in the middle of the room anymore, but for alignment purposes; indeed while I am fairly straight once in the asana, I tilt my pelvis in order to come up with straight legs. It’s easier, because I can counterbalance your weight, so I can come up without working too much.
But now, I’m trying to learn the proper way to come in, without tilting, which means I need to use more core strength and to strongly press my arms down into the floor. Ideally, I should be able to come up without my butt going back, but simply lifting the legs up while the torso is already in its final position.
The wall is a great teacher for that. No cheating, it tells you what straight is (assuming the wall is, indeed, straight ;). I think the wall is my favorite prop. It’s always there to support you when you need it!
Anyhow, I’m back at the wall for the moment. The wall has been a good learning tool for my alignment (“is it even possible to bring my legs up with my back at a 90°angle from the floor??! Maybe my butt is too big that’s why I can’t do it?”) since in the beginning, once my hips were aligned with my head I would almost fall back if I tried to lift my legs up (imagine a ball bouncing on the wall, except the ball was my butt and I would get pushed back down when I tried lifting the legs up). However, it’s not only been an useful tool for my body awareness, it’s also been a teacher in thoughts awareness.
I have found myself in a position I had not been in a while; wondering what others thought of me. I have been lucky enough to be relatively judgement-free in the past years, and it’s been a cold shower to realize I have not completely let go of what others may think of me. Indeed, I started thinking about how other people in the class must be thinking I cannot do headstand in the middle of the room (when really, who cares??!), or I am being lazy for using the wall when I could be doing it freestanding (there again, no one is thinking or looking at me during their practice, seriously!).
Oh, insecurities! We all have them. Even the people that look the most self-confident do. Actually, I’ve that they often are compensating because they’re not sure of what they’re doing, in a “fake it till you make it” style. This has made me even more grateful for the life I live, and I would not want to exchange it for any else, because I’m happy with how I’ve led my life so far. In the end, I think YOU are the only person who can decide how to lead your life. But in order to do that, you need to know yourself well. And yoga can help you do that by enhancing your self-awareness (and I’m not only talking about proprioception here). Just like going back to the wall made me realize I’m still attached to others’ opinion of me. But by not giving in and keeping on practicing at the wall, I am changing my behavioral patterns and rewiring my brain. And these are lessons I will also take off the mat into my daily life, which will help dealing with the stress of modern life!
TIL: apparently, this movie is French. My cultural background is catching up with me, I never realized until now that it was not an international reference. In French it’s called literally “an indian in the city”, thus the above hashtag.