photo: SweatNet Charlotte
What would happen if you started acting like the person you want to become? If you started believing in your limitless ability to grow, expand, change and get stronger? Became more self-aware and began to study your thought patterns, habits, fears, self-doubt and reasons for talking yourself out of your dreams?
The first time I studied with David C. Kyle, I was the only person in the room unable to do the seemingly impossible transitions everyone around me was doing. I could hold a handstand away from the wall which I knew was defying gravity, but the control everyone around me had seemed unattainable. I asked him what I needed to focus on. How do I become as strong as those students?
He told me to practice and start believing. He gave me an example: in the moment right before you attempt to press up from crow to handstand, imagine you are doing it. See yourself doing the transition in your mind. Start believing in your own strength. It will happen, but you have to be able to see if first.
So I started practicing and believing. Eventually I became strong enough to do defy gravity in a way that still amazes me.
I began to think about this idea a lot. What if I integrated this practice into my life off the mat? Deciding something is impossible doesn't serve us. It pushes our goals and dreams even further away.
So I started practicing and believing in my ability to teach. This was something I always questioned, a thousand times a day, a hundred times during class. I decided to shift the way I thought about myself and my ability to hold space for people, to make a positive impact on the world, to use my voice, to create the life I want to live. The self-doubt still creeps in all the time, in every aspect of my life - but I recognize this voice now and I know it doesn't serve me. It's a practice: changing your inner dialoge. Not falling into the traps of your own mind. It's not easy to believe in yourself, especially when we're our own worst critics. It's a practice, and it's something I practice every single day.
Yoga has many definitions, but this one that has always resonated me, from T.K.V. Desikachar: to attain what was previously unattainable.
“The starting point for this thought is that there is something that we are today unable to do; when we find the means for bringing that desire into action, that step is yoga. In fact, every change is yoga. For example, when we find a way to bend the body forward and touch our toes, or learn the meaning of the word yoga with the help of a text, or gain more understanding of ourselves or others through a discussion, we have reached a point where we have never been before. Each of these movements and changes is yoga.”
You guys know I love handstands, but not just because they make for sweet photos on Instagram. For me, they were a tool to recognize I'm limitless.
The thing is, I'm no different than you. We're the same. So you are limitless, too. You have the ability to achieve what is seemingly unattainable. Dedicate yourself to the practice, whatever it may be - and start believing.
I believe in you.
photo: SweatNet Charlotte