I've been taking yoga classes for about eight months now, and I honestly don't know what I was doing before, how I was living without yoga. I started out slow, and then a friend convinced me I could handle an advanced class that I'm now addicted to. Over time, I've learned to do some positions I was sure I'd never be able to do, though I still can't do a handstand. I'm finding that even the idea of being upside down is terrifying to me.
Last night, in said advanced class, I was able for the first time to get into forearm-stand, which is exactly like it sounds, against a wall with the help of my friend. (It's going to take more time before I can do that one on my own, but that's one of the awesome things about yoga, you learn patience.)
Seeing as I really want to learn to do a handstand, I should have been ecstatic to have managed this personal accomplishment. Instead it left me feeling exposed and self-conscious; and vulnerable. My mind only seemed capable of focusing on the fact that the act of coming down from the position left my hair askew, and on how sweaty I was, and please tell me I didn't smell terrible!
It was like, in the moment, the only way my mind could deal with the unusual feeling of being upside down was to focus on what I could control, like my hair. Of course, in that moment, I hadn't processed any of this and couldn't understand why my ego was suddenly and viciously tearing me to shreds when normally I don't care about what my hair looks like, and I enjoy sweating that much. The whole way home, when I'm usually in a blissful state of relaxation, I seemed hell bent on trying to fix my hair before I realized what I was doing and came to this conclusion.
For the most part, I think the only time I'm capable of being vulnerable is in the company of the right person/people who makes me feel safe enough to create a space in which I don't have to be perfect. I am a perfectionist. I can't help it. Most of the time, I'm putting a lot of thought into how I looks: my hair, my makeup, what I'm wearing, how I sit, how I walk, how I talk, how I write. It's a struggle for me to let any of that go, to teach myself to focus my energy elsewhere, on what's really important, like handstands.
What makes you vulnerable?