I remember a teacher once saying, during a yoga class, “something in you shifts once you can balance your weight in your hands”. And a fellow student on my yoga teacher training course confirmed learning to do a handstand feels amazing, like you can do anything. I’m sure this is true. I also know that a handstand is not the only thing that can change our perception of who we are, and what we are capable of. In yoga, as in life, it can be easy to work to someone else’s goals instead of our own. To want to do the crazy arm balance, because that’s where someone else is. But to truly serve ourselves, and our own stories when goal setting we need to honour where we are.
I can’t do a handstand yet. I’m sure it’ll feel amazing when I can, but this isn’t the only goal along my journey. I remember the feeling of power when I was able to do chaturanga to upward facing dog for the first time, or hold side plank or high lunge without feeling I might die. The achievement and sense of my own strength and power I felt in these moments was, I’m sure, akin to how others feel when attaining handstand. Now, of course, I do these things with ease (relative) and so the goal posts move.
We all have our own milestones, goals and life-shifting moments. There isn’t just one to aim for. For some it’s doing a handstand, for others it’s using their core strength to rock up from a lying position, and for others it’s showing up to yoga class. It doesn’t have to be yoga related either, this is just where I’m drawing my experience from but this message is applicable to anything in life.
Be where you are – not where someone else is. If we work to someone else’s goal (whether that’s a handstand or writing a novel) we can be left feeling inadequate, depleted and pretty low. If, however, we work to our own goals based on where we are starting from – and make sure to celebrate all wins along the way – we can feel like we can fly.