Week Six: Arm Balances for Feel Good February

 

This is the first week I haven’t really wanted to write…insert sad shocked emoji. I was feeling a little unmotivated, low, and the anxiety demon was hanging around a bit. BUT sometimes you need to do the things you don’t want to do, in order to get the things you do. And really, like many impactful things, now as I am writing, I feel great.

February is a bit of a different story in comparison to January (check out a January recap here). Now that I am into the challenge I decided I wanted February to have a strong theme. Right now I am calling it “Feel Good February” but that’s up for debate. Most of the goals I have chosen to work on this month will take longer than a week to complete. I will still have a focus each week but each goal or focus is meant to be a puzzle piece that contributes to a few large goals.

Some of my goals/ focuses include:
♥Get back to eating healthy and feel great. 
♥Get my hand stand and be able to hold a headstand. 
♥Drink 2L of water everyday.  
♥Juice cleanse (I’ll be doing a post about why this is no longer on my wish list) 
♥Book all the healthy appointments I’ve been putting off (dentist, doctor, etc.)

Each goal  will be a weekly focus but the intent won’t be to complete them since they either take longer than a week or will be an ongoing thing once they’re started. 

This week I decided to focus primarily on my handstand/ headstand goal since I was working at the Victoria Yoga Conference and it seemed like a good fit. There was even an awesome looking workshop that was all about arm balances (how perfect!). AND. IT. WAS. AMAZING. 

I went to some other wonderful workshops while there but the “Arm Balances” class unsurprisingly ended up being my favourite. This is probably because a) it was a step towards a goal and b) because it felt like an accomplishment once I finished it. It was the class that made my stomach turn and I was equally as nervous about it as I was excited. Along with being something that I’m mildly afraid of it was also considered an intermediate/ advanced class which had my brain saying: 

“I CAN’T DO THIS.”
“NO WAY.”
“I’M NOT ADVANCED.”
“I SHOULDN’T GO BECAUSE…” and insert all the stories I told myself. 
and so on…..

The workshop was taught by this incredible yoga teacher named Ryan Leier. He is the founder of One Yoga in Vancouver and if you ever get the chance to take in one of his classes DO IT. He’s down to earth, funny, knowledgeable, and yogic but just the right amount so he still feels ridiculously authentic. I’d been wanting to take one of his classes for years but i’d never had the chance until this weekend. 

The workshop was 1.5 hours and had around 50 people all at varying levels. He started with breathing exercises to teach us how to properly engage your “bandhas”. Next we partnered up and hit the wall, starting with handstand. At this point my brain was slamming it’s heals into the ground and going NO WAY. I was thinking “we’re starting with handstand….this isn’t good, that means we’re only going to get harder.” Thanks to my excellent partner Nicole and the support of the wall I got up into handstand! This is a first for me. Usually, I feel like my legs are boulders when I try to kick off and there is no way they’re getting up there. 

It turns out I didn’t need to worry because after handstand it actually got a lot easier. We moved onto headstand which felt like a BREEZE after handstand. I just got right up, no help from Nicole required (besides emotional support  and the wall was still my friend). Normally, I also find this challenging so that was very exciting. 

Lastly, we moved onto shoulder stand which I was already able to do so it was a great way to finish it off. 

Now fast forward a week since the Yoga Conference and I have been practicing everyday. This time I don’t have a partner since Matt (my main squeeze) is out of town and Nicole isn’t my personal handstand helper. This is where the exciting part comes in. I hadn’t been able to kick up and hit the wall on my own what-so-ever but yesterday I finally did! I’ve now done it quite a few times (practice trying to take a good picture makes perfect right?) and I’ve even started to practice taking my legs off the wall. 

Since I’m getting more comfortable with arm balances I decided to re-write my goals about them: 

♥Hold handstand for 10 breaths (how yogi of me) and be able to kick up without the support of a wall behind me
♥Hold headstand for one minute (same deal, sans wall)

Stay tuned to see how these goal progresses. I’m excited to conquer this one! Not to mention it’s super fun and feels like playing. Who doesn’t love to play!

In the end, by setting my fear aside I had so much fun at this workshop. It felt like I was a kid again and I learnt a lot. I also experienced another reminder of the benefits to facing fear and doing something that scares you.

So, I’ll leave you with this:
Have fun. Play. Try new things. Learn. Grow. and Don’t let fear hold you back.

Until next time,

 

P.S. Let’s not forget about the love and gratitude!

♥Thank you to Ryan Leier for a great class. It was so impactful. 

♥Thank you to the Victoria Yoga Conference for an awesome weekend full of new connections. 

♥Thank you to Nicole for being an incredible, supportive, understanding  arm balances partner. 

♥And a HUGE THANK YOU to lululemon, my other family, for the opportunity to experience it.