Skip to content

On fear…. and staring at your own ass.

November 13, 2009

I know that I rarely talk about my yoga practice on here. There’s a reason that Pattabhi Jois said that it’s 99% practice and 1% theory, and I prefer to act than to speculate (not that you could tell from my rambling speculations).

That said,

Yesterday Eileen had me take Titibasana B. Which probably means nothing to anybody except Louise, or any ashtangis who are secretly reading my blog, so here’s a picture.


Mine most definitely does not look like this... it's much more sloppy with a lot more screaming.

So there I am, upside down, staring at my private parts, and I’m terrified.
I’ve never really been terrified in a yoga pose before.
Some people have issues with being on their heads– not me. Some people are freaked out by chakrasana (backward somersault)– not me. But standing on my own two feet with my head behind my knees and my hands barely grasping each other behind my back, I was really, really scared. So scared that I started complaining about how sore my legs were (they were actually shaking uncontrollably by this point) and how it really wasn’t a good idea and I should probably come down and I was PLEADING with her to give me the OK in this high pitched voice that I haven’t ever heard before.

I lie, this has happened once before, when Dominic was here, and he came to help me with dropping back into backbends for the first time. I was terrified then. I think I started talking about the weather (he just looked at me), and then I told him that I couldn’t do it because I had a runny nose and lots of boogers (he just looked at me again) and then finally I said “I’m really scared”. And he looked at me, dead serious, and said “I’m scared too”.

And I started laughing, put my hands on my chest, and dropped back to the floor.

Anyway, I’m not actually on the 2nd series yet, but she had me take it to get me deeper into supta kurmasana, which has, for the past 3 1/2 years, been a really difficult pose for me.


don't even think that my supta looks anything like this 🙂

I guess it’s not so much about yoga as it is about fear, and how important it is to come up against these scary barriers every now and then. My practice has been so smooth and easy for a while that it was starting to get (dare I say) a wee bit boring. Not now. Now my legs shake and my mind shakes and I can barely keep breathing and moving after doing this little set. Ok, I don’t keep breathing and moving at all, I collapse on my mat like a dead bug and lie there taking in as much air as possible for at least three breaths before remembering that there are other people around and I need to save face.

I love it. Today it wasn’t nearly as scary. Tomorrow it will be even less. Before I know it I’ll be taking it no problem and Eileen will be devising other ways to scare the crap out of me.

What a fantastic teacher….


4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2009 17:31

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Mark permalink
    November 14, 2009 07:29

    I’ve heard it said somewhere before that we are often scared of stepping into our own power. Yoga, as in many other practices, as we progress, we realize how powerful and how almost limitless our potential is. Don Juan in the Carlos Castenada books said that fear is one of the barriers to, as he called it, a man of knowledge. I’m glad to see that you are facing your fears and not letting them stop you.

  3. fairybekk permalink*
    November 14, 2009 08:18

    It’s true, Mark.
    This idea of “stepping into power” is one that I’ve been struggling with without realising it.
    On one hand I want it, but then underneath that is this definite desire to curl up in a ball and have someone else do it… whatever “it” is.
    Isn’t the next barrier clarity? I’m kinda looking forward to that one ;).

    Hey Owl!
    Guess what? Your birthday is the day before mine (yes, I went and read your blog, which is now in my reader). And we’re both ashtangis. And we both feel all the cells in our bodies buzzing around.
    How cool is that? 🙂

  4. November 14, 2009 08:53

    So cool! I have always been shy to comment here, but your blog is so wonderful! Honored to have you as a reader.

    We have probably practiced together some time in the past, ships passing in the night.

    Very warm wishes and keep enjoying the birth day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: