As I shared last month, I am afraid of handstand. Some inversions and arm balances have come easily - others have become accessible over time - but this pesky pose presents the first true block in my nearly 15 years of asana practice.
I have created all manner of excuses to avoid even attempting the pose unassisted: it would be irresponsible to throw myself upside down and risk clobbering the yogi next to me...I need the guidance of an experienced teacher who knows my practice...I should wait until my tweaky right wrist feels better...
And with one thoughtful gift, the excuses disappeared: For my birthday I was given a private yoga session with a long-time mentor, and I knew exactly what I needed to do.
While I would love to tell you I nailed the pose and have overcome my fear once and for all, it wouldn't be the truth. We approached it from many angles, and I tilted and toppled and probably looked quite foolish, but I tried it again and again and gained the confidence to press on.
At the end of our session, my teacher remarked that we had explored many paths, and in doing so, alleviated a certain measure of fear. When we identify only one route to a destination, a single roadblock can generate panic, thus ending our journey. But with a variety of options, when one road ends, we can explore another, and the journey continues.
What goals have been elusive for you? Can you identify alternative pathways to get there? Can you commit to the journey rather than the destination?