Well grounded and flying high. Start your day off right!

One of my favorite things to do in yoga class is inversions and arm balances. I love the feeling of strength and balance and the playfulness of being upside down! I know, I know. Some of you are probably thinking about how much you HATE arm balances and inversions, right? They don’t seem grounded or they seem scary, or wobbly, or disorienting. Guess what?

I used to feel that way too.


But I kept at it. At first I kept at it mostly because my friends in yoga class liked them and so I thought I might as well try. And so I did. And I failed.

Over. And over. And over.

And then I went to an Anatomy and Alignment for Yoga class and it changed everything.

See, up until that class, I thought that one day these poses would just magically work out for me. Also, I didn’t really get how important it was to build the poses and work with my body to set it up for success. These poses had taken me to a place of insanity – you know, trying the same thing over and over while hoping for a different result. I wasn’t thinking ahead at all.

I didn’t understand how important my planning was to my success.

Once I understood how vital it is to make sure each pose is grounded well and then move from a strong and focused core – I could do it! As a result, these previously inaccessible poses were instantly at my disposal! I’m not saying I was perfect at them the next day. Not at all.

What changed is that now I had a PLAN!

I knew how to build my strength and balance so that it was possible for me to do the poses. I knew that if I continued to practice with this new knowledge, that it wouldn’t be long until I could do these poses. Finally, it worked! Now I can do any arm balance or inversion at any time. I can do them in yoga clothes! I can do them in jeans or shorts! I can do them at the yoga studio! I can do them at the gym or in my house or at the park! (I do feel a bit like Dr. Suess, right now! Green Eggs and Ham, anyone?)

(Also, if you want more info on arm balances, Check out this article I wrote for the YogaFit blog on Crow Pose.)

And, as happens with most of the things I learn on the mat, this lesson transfers well off the mat.

When I am frustrated with something and it feels like I am not improving or can’t figure out how to get something “off the ground,” I am reminded of this realization from yoga. For a pose to “fly,” it must be well-grounded and there must be a plan! The two things go hand in hand.

Does this sound dreamy to you?

And maybe a tiny bit impossible?

Well, it’s not impossible at all! Start with the center and core of the goal you want to accomplish. Once you start there and create a plan – you can do it!