Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shoulders, Shoulders, Shoulders....Oh and Handstand

A few years back I was injured at work and needed to have shoulder surgery. I tore two places in my rotator cuff and needed to have a dissolvable implant put in. I didn't ever think that my shoulder would be  nearly as strong as it was before I was injured. So how exactly does this tie in to yoga you may ask...well let me tell you a little story. Last February when I began my yoga journey I never thought I'd be able to do handstand or anything else that would require a lot of strength and energy from my shoulder. While in class I'd just watch the others and think to myself, "jeeze they are crazy, I could never do that!". Little did I know that in under a year I'd have the strength and will power to do it.
When I first began yoga it was about 2 years post-op. My range of movement was nowhere near what it was and I didn't expect it to get any better.
After about a month or two of yoga my shoulder felt completely different. It was stronger, more flexible, and didn't have the chronic pain that it used to get. But I still couldn't kick myself up into handstand. I began to realize that it was a mind over matter deal. When I was finally able to get myself over the fear of falling or even dying, I'd eventually be able to get myself up into it. I'd get so down on myself after class because I couldn't do it by myself.  I needed to keep reminding myself that when I was ready it would come to me.
One weekend we had two full days of yoga teacher training. In the morning class we went through the usual class and then came time for inversions. I prayed in my head that it'd be something like forearm balance or headstand but not handstand. But of course it was handstand...."Here we go" I thought to myself. "Another weekend of needing someone to hoist me up", I try to kick up once...nothing, twice...still nothing, then on the third time, like a charm, I kicked my left leg up pumped with my right to the count of three and released. My right leg came to meet my left and there I was, up in handstand without anyone assisting me. I let out a "yay"(I think a little squeal of joy too...) and my teacher and fellow students all turned to me and clapped or said words of encouragement.
Now that I've gotten myself over that hump of negativity towards myself and the pose it comes more naturally. I don't get into it the first time I kick up but hey who cares as long as the intention and focus are there.
It just goes to show you that anything really is possible as long as you keep your eye on the prize and remain focused. I attached a few recent handstand pictures :)
For my next post I'm working on some handstand prep poses and shoulder openers! Stay Tuned!

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