And now, make your way to Bakāsana,
I hear my instructor say.
Aggghhhh Bakāsana. Noooo!!! How many times will I fall on my forehead or better, do a complete front roll onto my back while the rest of my classmates perch peacefully in wrist-numbing "Crow Pose."
Such were the nature of my thoughts before I was taught one very, very, very simple phrase:
Honest-to-goodness, I know what you (may be/are) thinking:
That is so "ish yogis say."
and to that I say: well, yeah... I know it is. I like yoga, okay!? Sue me.
But you know what? There is something to be said about this phrase! So, get over it and/or keep reading. I've started applying this "Shift Your Focus" phrase to so many areas of my life. It's totally one of those cliche lessons that you take "off the mat" and into the real world... until those worlds kind of start to blend and your mindfulness reaches far beyond your practice. Yeah... let me know when that seems to look true for me. Ha!
One of the hardest things to do in Bakāsana is take your eyes off of your hands. Your hands are, of course, the "feet" to this pose.
For a long, long time, I truly believe that if I stared into my hands hard enough and held my breath long enough (like... until my veins popped out of my forehead) than my feet would magicly rise from the ground. Not so. In fact, the more I tucked my chin and stared at my belly-button, the faster I spiraled out of control (forward) and smacked onto my back. Not a cute look or sound. Trust me.
But you know what? Shifting my focus changed everything. When I elevated my eyes and unfurled my chin, it created just the right amount of balance for my entire body... and yes, my feet did magically lift from the ground.
So, very long description/story... all to say that a) I like yoga b) I all-too-often believe that I can solve my own problems c) I have yoga instructors who love me enough to tell me to LOOK UP when I'm hurting myself from trying to do my own problem-solving and d) this post is so much longer than originally intended.
Here's the take-away:
What's your focus right now?
In relation to style and personal care... are you avoiding your very best because you can only "look down" at what you've got to work with? Could you shift your focus, look in the mirror and find gratitude for not one, not two but three personal attributes? I don't care if it's your great hairline or your dainty wrists... shift your eyes and heart and look at the things that you appreciate most about yourself.
Acknowledge those beautiful attributes daily.
Accept that you will never be perfect. You only have so much control over the body that you've been dealt. But if you shift your focus, I'll be damned if you can't learn to support yourself just where you are.