It was nearly six months ago that I shared a story about how personally I took it, as a person with a visible physical disability, when a yoga teacher would cue the class into Crow Pose, as it simply wasn’t possible for me.
Today I’m telling a very different story. Let's start with a visual.
Yep. That's me. What's that I'm doing? Right. Crow Pose. Wait…What?
Quite clearly, we have evidence—“I can’t join in Bakasana” is blatantly untrue. I didn’t know I could do it! It wasn’t that I hadn’t tried, it was that I hadn’t tried it just that way…
It happened in a crowded hot yoga practice, at the very studio where I was first invited to join the class in Crow. It was my third practice with this teacher and I felt safe, welcome, and included.
On this particular Saturday, at the start of class, my teacher asked us to join in setting a very specific intention for our practice: we were invited to take a risk.
I immediately went in search of a block, and predetermined that my risk would be to try my Headstand not only without the wall, but to push enough that my head could lift off, and I could be in forearm balance. I knew my teacher loved inversions, and I felt I was ready.
I wasn’t prepared for what did happen. I had not expected to be cued into Crow! Even less did I anticipate that when that invitation came, I would happily sigh and set about positioning my block…because there Bakasana was.
Why We Need to Let Go of Self-Limiting Beliefs
Crow Pose had been right there waiting for me, ready that whole time, just longing for me to drop my attachment to the bullshit story in my head about how I couldn’t be a part of it.
I Headstand and forearm balance with a block. My Handstand practice includes props—sometimes chairs, blocks, or people. I don’t feel like less of a person for it. I enjoy being able to share in my version of the inversion and all the benefits they offer.
I’m a bit frustrated with myself. There has been a LOT of energy wasted in this negative self-belief I needlessly wrestled with for over a decade. It was completely unnecessary. I just needed to be in the moment, instead of the story. To go with flow, relinquish control, and take a goddamned risk.
I was selling myself short. Finding Crow Pose has been the perfect reminder for me about the value of self-belief and how determination cuts both ways.
Are you holding onto anything that doesn’t serve you today?