When I started practising 3 and a half years ago I didn't know of the existence of arm balances ( poses performed balancing on your arms).
It was only when I started to research yoga and read the classic yogic texts that I came across some of the amazing poses described in the Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha book by Swami Satyananda Saraswati .
Mayurasana and Astavakrasana to name a couple
About 2 years ago I started my journey into learning what is considered as the master key to arm balances : Bakasana (crow pose). Full of optimism and excitement I got on the mat and promptly collapsed forward and really hurt my wrists and face and let's not talk about my ego!
It took a while for my ego to recover fully and for me to decide to have another go.
During that time I worked solidly on my hand positioning and my upper body strenght (lots of downward dogs to planks, lots of planks and lots of yogic squats).
I went for some private sessions to make sure I was safe and for the first time ever I floated for a fraction of a second and it felt so light!
Six months later I was still trying and failing again, and again, and again: frustration set in and I started to believe I would never have the physical strenght necessary to take me where I wanted to go.
Then I started to consider the fact that this is actually an arm balance and that perhaps I needed to start again and work more on alignment and technique... still no joy.
Eventually it became clear that it was all about my mind getting in the way of my body , the fear to fall and hurt myself again was literally stopping me from leaning forward enough to take flight . Once I put these 3 elements together ( the physical aspect, the alignment aspect and the mind aspect) something clicked and voila , I have been flying ever since, 2 years after I first started working on it.
I used to think that crow was my nemesis, my arch enemy , a symbol of my limits. Turns out it has been my best friend.
It has helped me refine my plank and my chaturanga and in the process strengthened my arms and my core. It has motivated me to come back to the mat time and time again with and without props, it has taught me fearlessness, faith and humility. Crow has taught me that Yoga is a journey that never ends ... as I gear up to learn one legged crow and many other poses I have yet to discover.
What about you what is your nemesis?
Cherry Yoga runs regular workshops , including arm balances playshops, subscribe or browse the events for more information on future events.
Love and light