I’ve been practicing yoga more regularly as of late, and I’m on a mission to master arm balances and inversions (headstands and handstands). These poses rely on a lot more core and upper body strength than what I have now.
There’s something inherently satisfying about working towards a goal, whether that’s doing a headstand, saving money for a vacation, or finishing a project. Each time I make progress in a pose I’ve been thinking and dreaming about, joy and pride bubbles up. The gratification is addictive.
Until one day, something that was once challenging becomes second nature.
When I first tried yoga, synchronizing my breath with each movement of the Sun Salutations took all my concentration. I’m pretty sure I was out of breath most of the time, and probably took just as many “wrong” breaths as I did the “right” ones. Yoga was hard.
I don’t remember when I became comfortable with the Sun Salutations. When I do them, I don’t think about the fact that I once struggled with this familiar sequence of movements and breathing. It’s astonishing how quickly my perception changed. As soon as I felt comfortable with that task, I classified it as “easy”, whereas moments before, I would’ve thought it was “so hard”. Over time, I forgot about the struggles and believed that I’ve always been competent (it is “easy” after all).
As I sat in a forward bend in yoga class today, I wondered if I’ll ever get to a point where arm balances and inversions become second nature. Maybe then, I’ll say to myself “Ah, look how easy these poses are!”