Monday, February 22, 2010

I Think I Can('t)

When I started doing yoga 3 years ago, ardha chandrasana B (half-moon B) was my nemesis. I didn't have the core strength to hold up my center with only one leg and one arm on the ground, and I would wobble and fall repeatedly. I had to work hard to keep trying and not huff and puff in frustration and anger at myself for being weak. My teachers kept saying "falling is part of the process." I was finally able to hear that, and also over time, able to do the pose. Then last year, a teacher introduced bound half-moon B in class. Aarrgh, a brand new nemesis! I couldn't even conceive of how I would get my leg off the ground, but I was able to laugh as I popped my leg up a couple of inches for a second or two, and fell over repeatedly.

A couple of days ago in class, we were doing a very challenging bound sequence, and we went from bird of paradise (another of my nemeses!) to bound side angle, then my teacher told us to pick up our back leg. On side one, I got it up a passable amount, and as I wobbled there, I suddenly had the thought "hey, isn't this bound half-moon B?" but then it was time to move to the next pose. On side 2, she called it by it's name. And I couldn't get my leg up off the ground. Now, granted, each side is a new start, and you can't expect to do things well on both sides, but I think it was more than that. I think my brain got stuck in the fact that I can't do a bound half-moon pose. And because I thought "I can't," I couldn't. Huh.

We all know the story of The Little Engine That Could. A lovely little tale of trying your best and finding success against the odds. In that story, the engine used the mantra "I think I can, I think I can," and by gosh, he could! Well, the opposite works, too, you know. If you think you can't, there's no way you'll ever be able to. I love when a lesson learned on the yoga mat translates into real life. I am working more on the I can (someday!), and leaving the I can'ts in a pile on the floor. I can brush them off when I get up from falling on my umpteenth try at bound half-moon B...

I can't find a photo of the bound version, but here is Half-Moon B.

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