“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” ~Honore de Balzac
This was too true in my yoga class today. Trust is a huge issue for most people, and that includes self-trust. In fact, I think that when we don’t trust ourselves, we are less likely to be able to trust others.
Last class I took with Skeeter Tichnor, I remember being in an assisted handstand with her only holding a toe. It was fine at first, but then I found myself feeling panicky and wanting to come down. My feet kicked around a bit, and I folded. She made a good point that I was at a point in my practice where I needed to hold my commitment to the pose, and that kicking like that could hurt the person assisting me.
Today in class, I remembered that, and was able to do handstand into bakasana, then she whipped me back into handstand, then back down into bakasana. It’s amazing how much easier it is with assistance!
Later on, we were doing wheel pose (urdhva dhanurasana), and Skeeter said that I could come on up to standing from the pose. She came over, and started me rocking toward standing, but at some point I didn’t trust it would happen. I thought my butt was sinking as my head came up, but really it was my head coming up that caused me to sink, and I almost hurt Skeeter as I tumbled to the floor. I felt awful, putting my hand on her arm to see that she was okay.
I had done the transition before with help, but instead of being in my back body and trusting, I whipped into my front body (my mind) with doubts, which caused me to literally bring my head forward, jeopardizing my assistant in the pose. Doubt is lack of trust, and it is reflected in our approach to the world.
We tried the transition again, and I made sure to trust, breathing into my back body, keeping my head back, and it went smoothly.
When we don’t trust ourselves, we may act in ways that hurt others, as well as ourselves. I trust Skeeter fully, but self-doubt got in the way. I know self-doubt in movement is a very dangerous thing. Years of dancing has shown me that when we commit fully to the movement and trust, we often surprise ourselves with what we can accomplish.
The same goes with all aspects of our lives.
Our front body reflects the future, the individual. The back body reflects the past, the universal. In between those two lies our center. The challenge lies in staying balanced, neither looking into the future and predicting failure or jumping ahead to the final expression of the posture, nor getting caught up in the times you tried and didn’t succeed. Today is a new day, and there is a first time for everything!
How does this apply to other situations in your life? Maybe someone dear to you wants to try something fun with you, but you let self-doubt get in the way and ruin the fun. Maybe there is something in your life you didn’t fully commit to and it failed. What would have happened if you trusted yourself to do what you set out to accomplish?