Last night, I went to Hot Yoga at the studio. It kicked my butt. I don't know if it was the heat, or the asthma, or not eating dinner first, but it was hard. I thought I was going to throw up. I thought I was going to literally pass out (at which point I skipped a balancing posture sequence in favor of child's pose). It was hard, but I kept going. I kept the mean voice at bay. I finished the class and felt fantastic when it was over.
Right now, I'm measuring my progress with two different things. The first, is a simple forward fold. You know, bending over and touching your toes? Well, when I first started, I really couldn't even touch my toes. Now, I can pretty easily fold over and place my hands flat on the floor next to my feet. If I'm really warmed up, I can even slide my hands, palms up, under my toes and completely under my feet. Hooray for progress. Seated forward fold is less flexible, but at least I can more than touch my toes there now too. I think my hands were only able to go about 1/2 way down my shins before.
The second way I'm measuring my progress is with crow pose. This is a pose that I saw at the beginning and completely wrote off. I will NEVER be able to do that one. Go see what it looks like here. Okay, so now you see what crow looks like. In crow, you are completely balancing ALL of your body weight on your wrists. Did I mention that I broke my wrist and have a titanium plate and four screws in there? My wrist just doesn't bend all the way anymore. So, this crow pose? Not gonna happen. No matter how hard I work. Or so I thought.
Last week, I was brave enough to ask my friendly yoga instructor if she had any ideas on how to make things easier on my wrist. Sometimes we hold poses on it that are just really uncomfortable. Or that I have to quit early. So I asked if she had any advice. She told me to buy a wedge to use for support and try that. So I did.
Before the wedge, when it was time for crow, I'd balance on my wrists, with my knees up on my elbows, but with both feet completely on the floor. More weight on my feet than my arms. Not even close. Then I'd watch everyone else and be really impressed. Tuesday, I got up on the wedge with my wrists, high enough on my toes, that I could take a tiny, nano-second, hop up onto my wrists before falling back onto my feet. Just a fraction of a second, but MY FEET WERE OFF THE FLOOR!!! The next night, last night, I managed to get up into it again. I was all the way up with just the very tippiest part of my toes just barely touching the floor. SO close. I could hold it there for several breaths. I CAN DO THIS! I can do CROW! Not yet, but I will. And when I do, I'll be posting a picture of it here for all to see.
How do you measure progress? Is there something that seems almost impossible that you are working on, too? I'd love to hear about it.
Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.
Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) American speaker and motivational writer.