On Being Upside Down

    One time during a hot yoga practice…

    “First you clasp your hand, then slowly rest your head on the floor and while your legs are in downward dog position, slowly bring your legs up, one at a time. Use the wall if you need to.”

    “Damn, he made head stand look so easy…” I thought, silently cursing my inflexibility to bend like my instructor.

    I leaned my head against the wall. Three years of practice – albeit only a year I did daily, being upside down has been my biggest fear. Slowly, I tried pushing myself up. One leg at a time he said. Imagine crow pose, I told myself.

    One push.

    Two push.

    Three push.

    Then I went up suddenly with the instructor’s help.

    “I am scared! Omg.” I said to him.

    “Stay just like that for ten seconds. Just keep breathing.”

    It was longer than ten seconds. But it was the first time I stayed upside down for that long. The last time I did it at home and I let go. I was afraid.

    What was I afraid of?

    Seeing things in a different perspective. I was so used to being friends with gravity and not against it.

    Being upside down shouts change, perspective and different – all the things I dislike.

    But like what they say or what my instructor said,

    “Being upside down is good. It teaches you patience. It is uncomfortable but that’s life. Life is uncomfortable at times.”

    What did I learn from that practice?

    A lot but one important lesson:

    There is no right or wrong. There is just difference.

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