One (or, foundations)

As of August 1st, it has officially been one year of Luna Moth Life! I’m starting to notice a trend, at least in the last two years, that I get a wave of motivation at the beginning of August (and last month of the summer). Last year, I started this blog, got very organized, and started building better habits. This year, I’ve been making sure to stay on top of my to-do list and I’m busily approaching the end of a year of yoga teacher training.

I find that my productivity comes in waves like this. I’m not a very go-go-go person, to be honest. It almost feels like a scandalous thing to admit that in America, where the culture encourages the opposite of slow living. I’m pretty laid back and like to do things in bursts, but I think I underestimate the amount of things I can take on with just a little better time management. I’m trying to hold on to the momentum of doing a few tedious but important things each day, and I want to start scheduling time to rest and do things I enjoy just like I would schedule an appointment or class so that I can be better at focusing on work and not just doing fun stuff to procrastinate and then always feeling slightly guilty about it. Sometimes I forget how few responsibilities I actually have in my current life…I don’t have kids or a full-time job, I’m just a student living with my parents with a pet rabbit and a blog at the moment, so I need to keep building my foundation of good habits while I can.

This morning I had a private handstand lesson with a fellow yoga teacher trainee who runs his own gymnastics gym as a skill-trade for recently helping him review the Ashtanga sequence we have to lead. I’ve been able to do a handstand since I was 13, but I was the last one in my ballet conditioning class at the time to get it as I had only done gymnastics briefly when I was very little. It’s not easy to stand on your hands, but it’s not necessarily hard, either. It’s like standing on your feet, you just have to take all those automatic forces that keep you off the floor and push them out your hands instead. It’s one of those things that just takes practice, and then it’s like riding a bike, it never really leaves you. When I was 13 and finally got the hang of kicking up against a wall on my own, I made the habit of coming home from school and immediately going to the wall in my bedroom and practicing kicking up a few times every day. After a year, I could finally kick up with reasonable control and hold a handstand against the wall for a minute.

With all the yoga classes I’ve been attending regularly as part of teacher training, I’m in a lot better shape than I was as a teenager and my handstand form is better than ever. But I still can’t quite kick up away from a wall without a spotter because that bit of fear of falling holds me back. Today, with Jose, I worked on better kick up technique (I keep using “kick up” here but that’s a slightly incorrect term because for best control you should be aiming to hop up from the bottom foot, not kick with the leading leg, just fyi) and we also practiced bailing out (how to fall out of it with control and without hurting yourself). Because Jose has his own gym, we had lots of padding to practice with, but the goal is to practice cartwheeling or tuck’n’rolling out of the handstand enough that you have the control to land softly on any surface.

I do have a point to this post besides recounting my handstand lesson. You see, I’ve been learning that you need to be able to eliminate the fear of failing (falling in this case, same thing) in order to progress with anything you’re working on. Often, the fear of failing makes us more likely to fail because we don’t learn how to fail gracefully, instead we panic and potentially end up hurt. But you have to train your instincts to be able to handle things going wrong in order to eliminate the fear. Fear is blinding, but learning to overcome it will often lead you to finally have the strength and confidence to avoid failing at all, and that’s where you start moving forward. You’ll still inevitably fail again at some point, but you will be prepared for it next time, and you’ll land softly. 😉

Oh, and remember not to hold your breath, and exhale when you’re falling so you don’t get the wind knocked out of you…does this still fit my metaphor? I’ll let you decide…haha.

Just aim to build a strong foundation. Practice until you get it right, then practice more until you can’t get it wrong, and if you do go wrong, know how to bail yourself out with the confidence that you made it all those other times before. Nobody knows what they’re doing, but the people who understand this can confidently make it seem like they do know what they’re doing because they know it’s okay not to know. I hope you followed all that, haha. I feel like a lot of this is stuff I’ve talked about in my posts all year, but it really is the key to adulthood and not getting overwhelmed and burnt out. So I figured I’d sum it all up. Happy Birthday Luna Moth Life, I’m gonna keep working on ya to build up the foundation for my next life ventures.

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