So here i am.........Falling with all the grace and elegance of a heard of giraffes and elephants out of a handstand. Yoga is a funny old game, we practice it to become more aware of our true selves, yet we try to put ourselves in weirder and weirder postures and quite often get annoyed with ourselves when we are unable to do them. I know that as much as some days i am able to not allow my ego and my competitive side of life to get the better of me, there are days when i just keep throwing my self up into the air and getting more and more frustrated by it. How very un-yogic of me i hear you all say and yes...i would probably agree EXCEPT.... how do we go about dealing with this frustration in the immediate moments after we feel them.
The picture above was taken this morning whilst trying to get a video of my handstands, so i could look back at it from an outside perspective and see if i could see what i was doing wrong. Whilst watching it i said to my self out loud (and two my to spotty dogs who were joining me) "Well these handstands are certainly showing me the meaning of what a journey is". At which point the title of this blog came to mind. They are lyrics from a song by frank turner and have always come to my mind when anyone has stated they cant understand why i go off travelling or have not been keen to settle or even just tried to just push to their end goal in their job and completely missed the whole of the bit leading up to it. The whole verse goes
"But if you're all about the destination, then take a fucking flight
We're going nowhere slowly, but we're seeing all the sights
And we're definitely going to hell
But we'll have all the best stories to tell"
This again totally resonates with me and how my yoga journey is progressing, infact its how i feel my whole life is progressing. In yoga, for a man, i am maybe more flexible than the average man but certainly compared to alot of woman i am still a man with some tight hips and shoulders. I can also look at the progress of my many amazing yoginis and yogis who are totally stomping and mastering all sorts of hanstands and inversions that i am not. Now at times i ask myself why is that...again, as a man i am certainly stronger than they are and here i am stuck firmly to the ground. I then also ask myself.....WHO BLOODY CARES. i look at my yoga journey which started about 8 years ago and i think how exciting it was to start learning new poses and go further into those poses. As someone who is now fairly (i hope at least) competent in my asana there are less poses that i get that same feeling for. Handstands while not the only part of my practice are something that do get worked on regularly and actually the length of time it takes me to get them just mean i see a whole lot more of the sights. By that i mean i get to spend more understanding how my body moves and works, i get to spend more time learning how the hands, which arent designed to hold our weight can be taught to do so. I get to practice NOT HOLDING MY BREATH while moving. These are all things which we should all be looking for in all our postures and as a beginner a downward facing dog totally does that job. Sometimes its nice to be humbled by your own body, by your own mind and reminded that it really isn't all about the destination and that if you enjoy the journey, as slowly as that may be, you are actually getting far closer to the point of us getting on our mats in the first place (enjoying that weird feeling of sitting for long periods of time with just ourselves, no one else hahaha. weird right.)
So that enough of ramble, Whether in yoga or in life just try to remember that the goal is very rarely the bit that you will look back at and remember, but all the fun you had falling, stumbling, getting up, laughing, crying and laughing again will be the bit you remember.