“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~~ Nelson Mandela
Photo Courtesy of Yoga Journal
Last Sunday in class, I taught Lolasana for the very first time ever. It’s a pose that I’ve still not mastered myself, which is probably why I’ve never taught it before. If only I could get my darn feet up off the ground!
But these past few months, it seems the things that have been holding me back in terms of my yoga teaching have been melting away. The things I’ve held back from teaching and sharing have been bubbling up to the surface and staring me straight in the face as a sort of challenge — a challenge to face my fears and see what I’m made of, so to speak.
If you’ve been to my classes over the past several months, you may have noticed my “transformation”. I’ve tried a few new things with you, and the feedback from you all has been so wonderful…it definitely fuels me to keep going with this newfound confidence I seem to have.
Lolasana (Pendant Pose) was actually a new pose for everyone in class last Sunday. That was the first time ever, in my over 10 years of teaching, that I’ve taught a pose to a class that not one student had ever done. So I have to admit that I was a little afraid, since it’s a pose that still eludes me. And I won’t lie, it looks like a scary pose, doesn’t it?
Though it does require arm strength to get into the full pose, it’s a great pose to work on, as it it will strengthen your arms, wrists, hands, upper back, and abdominals. So even if you don’t have the arm strength needed when you first begin, don’t give up…eventually, with practice and patience, you’ll get there.
This coming week in class, we’ll be working on Lolasana. If you’re trying this pose on your own at home, the following tips can help if this is a new pose for you:
Make sure your back is rounded. Think about having a Cat back.
- Engage all the muscles of your arms, but don’t lock the elbows.
- Pull your belly in, as if you’re “buttoning it” to your spine.
- Use blocks to elevate your hands…blocks can do wonders with helping you lift the feet off the ground initially, until you build the arm, wrist and belly strength needed to do the pose.
The most important thing to remember is not to get discouraged. This is a very challenging pose, so don’t expect that you’ll be able to get into it right away. And don’t be afraid of it. Conquer your fear and give it a go…you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you never try. As I mentioned above, I am still working on this pose myself. I’ve not been very good about practicing it regularly over the years, so that’s something I’ve resolved to change. My goal is to practice it a little each week, until I finally get it. However long it takes. I am no longer afraid. I want to see what I’m made of and how far I can go…how about you?