On Tuesday, September 6, I did my first of 90 days of shoulder stand.
It was not an auspicious start.
On Monday I had the tail end of a few days of runny nose and one day of stomach cramps, a kind of flu-lite. I slept poorly on Monday night and woke up late and fuzzy-headed.
Then the man who came to install the new sliders in the filing drawers arrived 40 minutes early, at 8:50 a.m.
And in the end, because I didn’t try putting the divider panels in before he left, I still couldn’t transfer my files into the drawers. They wouldn’t fit unless the drawer was out, and as part of making it stronger, the drawer no longer came out.
It was yet another stumbling block for the apparently endless office re-organization project.
The whole day was like that. For all kinds of good reasons, I put off doing a practice. Finally, at 5 p.m. I brought out my mat.
Helpful ways we trick ourselves
My brain told me this: today you can just do a chair shoulder stand. You haven’t been well, you’ve had a frustrating day, and it would be okay to use the chair.
First I did a bit rolling around on the floor – a gentle chest opener, a few leg stretches.
When I brought the chair out, it seemed a shame not to prepare, even just for chair shoulder stand, by doing Viparita Dandasana, supported back bend over the chair. (You can find the full instructions here, but you’ll have to scroll down.)
As I settled into the pose, some of the oppression of the day lifted, and when I sat up after five minutes, my mood had changed, and so had my shoulder stand expectations.
I ended up spending a happy 14 minutes in the full pose with variations.
Since then I’ve been faithfully doing the pose and recording the minutes.
I’ve made a chart so I can tick off shoulder stand, and my other, non-yoga September commitments when they’re done. It’s like getting a gold star, and it feels good.
You’re welcome to join with me on this or any other practice commitment you choose. There’s only one rule: you have to do it every day.
I’ll give you an update when there’s something interesting to say – and I’m always happy to hear how you’re doing.
Photo courtesy of Bitterjug, via Flickr.
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