A funny thing happened on the way to a headstand

shadeshaman's picture

I was at yoga punx on Sunday. It's held in a funky old loft space in the Mission in SF, and it's all people with tattoos and piercings, and pretty much people over 35, if not over 40, and a lot of recovering addicts, and the teacher plays old punk rawk tunes on her ipod. I was doing a pose called dolphin, like this:

but in this setting

It can be a prep for this kind of headstand

But, the thing is, the weight of your body is supported by your arms, rather than by your neck. So, I have some strong arms, from cleaning houses, and I was very close to being able to do the headstand, so my teacher (the lady with the pink hair) came and helped to lift me from my hips (and she said something about using my core to do the headstand)....

And then I felt such a powerful rush of fear, distrust of my body and resentment, especially fear of letting anyone near my belly, fear of exposing my belly--but figurative exposing--the belly as the core of my being, the truth of who I am, that my body involuntarily contracted to protect my belly, myself, the core of my being, and I fell over. It was a revealing moment.

I'm still mulling it over.



shadeshaman's picture

More words to try to describe what I was feeling:
1) It was as if I had been caught doing something that I "shouldn't", and I was trying to deny that I did it and trying to protect myself from harm, punishment, abuse etc.

2) it was the feeling I get when someone criticizes me and I feel like the first thing I do is to accept that they must be right, in some way, because I feel like there is something fundamentally wrong with me.

3) Shame

4) Slave. Or degraded or unworthy. But like the thing that I did wrong was to open up or be autonomous or enjoy something or to be brave, and the fear was fear of reprisal. My mind was screaming "I can't do this", but it wasn't in the literal, physical sense, it was more like, "I'm not allowed to do this" + "if I get caught doing this, I'm going to get in trouble".

Definitely something about being simultaneously vulnerable AND unavailable to be someone else's caretaker, and then experiencing my own body pushing itself into safe-and-vigilant mode, as usual.

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius"--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle