Venti Soy Handstand with a Shot of Eccentricity

On Friday, I successfully kicked up in to Pinchu Mayurasana (aka feathered peacock, aka forearm balance) for the first time. I was excited beyond words, so of course I knew our Saturday teacher training class, geared towards all inversions, was going to be a disaster for me. I’d have all kinds attachments and expectations, and I wouldn’t be able to do handstand, even though my teacher told me last week that I was thisclose.

Sure enough, I couldn’t do handstand. I couldn’t do pinchu either, and when my teachers kept saying I was thisclose I kept insisting, “I did it yesterday!” which attests to my ego, attachment and inability to live in the present moment. YogaFAIL!

To make matters worse, our teacher ended class with a meditation that involved envisioning all the organs of your body smiling. My liver could not smile, neither could my kidney. In fact, I thought, I don’t even know where my kidney is, but I’m sure if I could find it, it would be frowning and irritated about my bad practice, just like I am.

Finally, the meditation ended and I got to stop envisioning my small intestines in a state of peaceful bliss. I returned to the wall and tried kicking up into any pose that would have me. No luck. Teary-eyed and despairing, I raced for the one thing sure to improve my mood anytime: Coffee.

Unfortunately, when I arrived at Starbucks, the man I yelled at for hurting the environment after he threw out my cup last week was at the register. I wasn’t sure if he remembered me when he asked how my day was going so far.

“Well, I’ve been in Yoga Teacher Training for a few hours…so…ok.”
“Whoa! Yoga training! That’s crazy.”
“Yeah,” I continued, surrendering to the present moment. “I’ve been trying to kick up into handstand and I can’t, so I’m kind of frustrated.”
He laughed. “Handstand? I can do a handstand.”
“Great!’ I was happy for him. Really, I was.
“I can do a handstand and walk on my hands,” he continued.
“In fact, I could probably do one right here in the middle of Starbucks.”
“Great!” I forced out for the third time. Was that my spleen I felt smiling, or psychosomatic nausea?
“Yeah!” He handed me my coffee. “I could definitely do it.” Before I could put away my change, he had come around the dessert bar and was placing his cellphone on the floor. He looked up me. “Read it and weep!” And then, right there in the middle of Starbucks, he dove into handstand (with a very curved back) and took a few steps on his hands before sliding down the floor.
“Wow!” I said, more shocked and amused than anything. “That’s….great!”
He leaped to his feet. “I could probably walk on my hands all the way to the door!”
“Cool!” I told him, backing away. “Well…I’m going to go over there and put milk in my coffee, so if you want to try walking towards me that’s fine, but otherwise I’ll see you later!”
“I told you I could do it!” He called after me. “In fact, it was easy.”
I hurriedly added soymilk and shot out the door. I had to admit that I was pretty entertained, no longer on the verge of tears and a little satisfied by the knowledge that his form was terrible.

Just goes to show you there’s no problem that caffeine can’t solve.


5 thoughts on “Venti Soy Handstand with a Shot of Eccentricity

  1. Ha! I think you did very well in the face of Mr Starbucks dude! ;P

    The last thing I find that stops me, really is just plain old fear. Its not that my body is not strong enough. It's that I'm afraid that I'll fall and hurt myself or look stupid. Absolutely.

    There's nothing more frustrating in yoga than being able to do some asana intermittently only.

    Like what I wrote on Brooks post, my balance can either be spot on or all over the shop. I think that's about belief in myself, too. Because sometimes it helps me to say to myself: I know I can do this!

    Just like the Starbucks dude!

    Form can always be improved. But that self-belief/lack of fear (are they the same thing?), that really needs to be handled, huh?


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