Recently I was out for a walk and decided to do a handstand on a bale as I knew it would be great for social media. Thing is, the bale was extremely wobbly. I struggled for a bit, at which point my dad offered to come and crouch behind the bale, securing it out of sight. However, by this point I was getting tired, and just couldn’t get used to how heavy my boots felt when going up. Eventually I ditched the plan and went for a high Mayurasana instead.
For me, this photo yields three lessons that can apply even beyond the field of yoga postures.
1) Accept where your limitations lie. Of course, try to find these boundaries and (where healthy) move beyond them, but do so safely. I thought I’d be able to pop up into a handstand straight away, but honestly, having a moving cylinder of straw to balance upon really threw me. If I had forced it I would have most likely come crashing down and seriously hurt myself. Knowing at what point to stop pushing is important.
2) Accept input from others. Here, I was proud enough that I wanted to turn down the help that was offered and do it all alone. If I had done that, I may well have been in A&E shortly after. If someone offers advice or assistance, from an authentic place of giving, try to take it on board gracefully, even if you later realise it doesn’t entirely fit. Ego and pride get in the way of allowing help from others, which ultimately does us the disservice.
3) Don’t believe everything you see on social media. Remember, this photo should be me in a full blown handstand, but I couldn’t pull it off that day. Moreover, behind the bale there’s a bloke squatting like a field-elf clutching on for dear life with his finger tips. You don’t get to see him! It’s very easy to fixate on our newsfeed (yoga related or otherwise) and scroll through never ending photos of people doing amazing, seemingly unattainable stuff. By all means draw inspiration from this, but don’t forget that for every wonderful image you see there may well be 100 discarded outtakes, a clutch of team members propping up the subject and untold hours spent editing out tell-tale shadows and unsavoury angles.
Other than that, this photo is bad ass.