On letting go of the wall

I’m presently doing yoga teacher training with a very skilled teacher, together with 3 other yogis, who are far more experienced than me. This is great, since it means I’m learning by leaps and bounds every time we have a session. Last time I got the opportunity to ask my teacher about something which has been troubling me: headstands.

There you go - that's not so hard, right?

A common way of learning headstand is to start by a wall, and then gradually move away, until you’re standing free. I’ve been standing clear of the wall unwithered for a long time, until, a while ago, I encountered a surprising backlash.  I’m not quite sure what happened, but all of a sudden I just felt really scared to leave that wall. And the more I thought of it, the scarier it seemed.

Then it dawned on me: this is just growing pains. Who hasn’t felt scared about skipping the safety net, entering the unknown – or letting go of the wall? I started seeing the pattern, because, at this very moment, there are several things in my life of which I would need to let go. Things that are perhaps safe, but which at the same time are holding me back and not letting me develop in the direction I want to. Could all of these things put together be “my wall”?

As I realized this, I also decided to follow the advice my teacher gave me: Just let go of that damn wall. If you stay glued to it, you’ll never develop, you’ll never grow – you’ll just stay put. Is that what you want? 

No, it’s not. And there you go: in today’s practice I did my headstand without the wall – all be it a bit wobbly. But I did it, I didn’t fall over – and I’ve now accepted the fact that there’s no way back. I’m out there, on my own (no safety net) and come what may, I’m standing strong. Or I’ll fall over and live with it. But at least I tried :-).

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