Bait & Switch (& Switched Again)

I’m doing a free two-week pass at Yoga Shanti (the studio across the street from my office) and I went to a class that was listed as “Open” last week. I was expecting it to be Iyengar/Ashtanga with different levels of difficulty for each pose. But then I got to the class and the teacher exclaimed, “it’s restorative day!” 

And so I altered my expectations from getting a mild workout to getting no work out at all, but relaxing. I was disappointed at first, but then I reframed and thought, “you know, I had a colposcopy yesterday so maybe this is for the best!” and got excited. 

Then… it turned out to not be so restorative. Or at least not the kind of restorative class I was expecting when I hear something described as “restorative.” There were lots of inversions, which I know are restorative, but for me, they’re not really relaxing. We did the kinds where my neck is hanging in midair and makes me really stress out. 

Not exactly the kind of restorative that I was hoping for. 

But then that’s what happens when you walk into a situation with expectations. 

I love yoga. I hate inverting.

I take an advanced level iyengar class once a week and I like it, except for when we do things like handstands and forearm stands. The only inversion I can do confidently and easily is an L-shaped handstand. Otherwise I’m pretty sure I’m going to come crashing down 4 inches to the ground and break my neck.

I’d really LIKE to master seemingly simple inversions like headstand and forearm stand but I don’t know how to get past the fear of… Well, dying. That above is the furthest I can get in my forearm stand.

What’s the likelihood of me breaking my neck from a fall that’s four inches to the ground? I have no idea, really. Anyone? Bueller?

I feel like I have no bicep and tricep strength. But the thing is… I do, really. I’ve gotten up into handstand numerous times with assistance and spotting. If there’s someone there to catch me if I start to crash downwards, I’m fine. (of course, once I get up, there’s the question of getting down – which I always seem to flip a shit over when given the chance too.)

Right now I’m working on kicking up into handstand on my own. I’ve yet to ever get into a forearm stand on my own.  How has anyone ever gotten over their fear of neck-breaking? Let me know!