I was a super late bloomer with regard to riding a bicycle. Riding scared me SOOOOO much that I bent my training wheels. Permanently. So I decided that I’d never ride a bike. It was OVER. In response to my dramatic decision, my mother offered, “Well, we’re traveling to Florida next week, and your cousins all ride bikes.”
Right then and there, I trotted my little nine-year old self to the empty Sunday parking lot of Foodland (gosh, remember when grocery stores were closed on Sundays?), and I took off. Like lightening. And I’ve never stopped. Sure, I’ve taken the bicycle hiatus. For years. For winters. For business. For my dog. But I always came back, and it’s really good to know that riding will exist in my life forever. I’ve always just hopped back into the saddle, and it was GO.
That’s how headstand is, too.
It must have been one year into my yoga practice before I could let go. My teacher told me that dancers are grounded, and going upside down is scary for girls with a formal dance background. And I’ll take that one step further. The dancer thing aside, losing control, for me, is scary. This relates to the bicycle. This relates to doing headstand. This relates to life!
But just like with my bicycle, once I started popping into headstand, I never stopped. And I took this to include every arm balance into which my body could twist, bend, and extend. At my old yoga prime. At my old yoga downfall. At my fat no yoga stage. And for all of last year. Even as a fat girl, I could do headstand.
What made me think of this information? Well, as I rode my bicycle last weekend, at around glorious mile 12, it all rushed back. I thought, “Man! I’m SOOO glad that my mother advertised my cousins as motivation for me to learn the art of bicycle riding. What a smart cookie. She knew my competitive spirit, and she knew that I wouldn’t allow my cousins to outdo me!”
This of course led to thoughts on “the other great physical challenge of my life” which was headstand. And I’ll take this one step further. Not only is headstand like riding a bike, but yoga is like riding a bike. And one step further from that… any passion of a human being is like riding a bike. I lost my yoga, and last year I worked like hell to find it. I did the motions, but it wasn’t a dance of love. Then one day, in March of this year, it became a dance of love again. It was always there, but I just needed to tweak and think and find my groove. Riding a bicycle, I’m sure, for the avid bicyclist, offers its ups and downs. Lance can back me up, no doubt! 😉
But when you get your true RIDE back, you know it’s because it’s your true passion, and you love it so much that nothing will stop you. That’s exactly how yoga is to me. It might be drawing pictures for you. It might be cooking! It might be viewing Criterion Collections with your nerdy film friends and discussing it brilliantly over wine!
But the saying of “It’s like riding a bike” is so true for any passion. I’ll stand by that belief forevermore.
Tonight, I practiced the seven glorious headstands of the second series of Ashtanga yoga.
Baddha Hasta Sirsasana A (bound headstand).
Baddha Hasta Sirsasana B (bound-hand headstand).
Baddha Hasta Sirsasana C (forearm headstand).
Baddha Hasta Sirsasana D (pinching-shoulders headstand).
Mukta Hasta Sirsasana (tripod headstand).
Mukta Hasta Sirsasana B (palms facing upward headstand).
Mukta Hasta Sirsasana C (iron cross headstand).
Oh yes. And tonight, we created a new headstand. It’s called, “Mommy takes off her tight crescent tank by Alô, replaces it with an old favourite tshirt, and baby dramatically drinks water and smiles just before the camera snaps!” This all happened in 10 seconds from the moment of setting up the camera, running to the mat, drinking water, and, well you can see the rest. Ha ha ha!
What’s your “like riding a bike?”
Have a good day, and namaste. :):)