To give yourself time. Lots of it.
In this case, to give myself time.
I have been practicing Shirsasana for some time now, 2 months to be exact, with no success. I have done it against a wall, using blocks, with straps... the works.
Did I fly? Did I see the world from a different perspective? Not quite.
I was stuck in the dolphin pose for as long as I can remember, kicking my legs off the mat, only to come down with a thud, and reclining back to balasana, sometimes with a lump at the back of my throat.
I felt like crying.
This morning I went to the yoga studio for a morning Hatha practice. After the sweaty session, I went to my teacher and ask him when should a student transition from beginner's to intermediate class?
He said a student is ready for intermediate level when he/she is able to do all the stances in beginner's class with ease.
I bit my lower lip. My teacher raised his eyebrows.
"But you did attend a couple of intermediate classes, yes?"
"Yes. I have. But ... I have my doubts."
Of course I left out what the cussing side of me really wanted to say. I wanted to say, I am maybe too big for intermediate. My ass is the size of Brazil and my stamina is an embarrassment.
He then told me that most students need a longer time to nail that inversion pose.
"You need time. You need to give yourself time."
He then told me that some students take a longer time than the others, but that is no reason for anyone to give up. He assured me that with daily practice on all the basic asanas, that shirsasana will come.
He suggested that I come in for the intermediate class at least twice a week. He told me that the first few times are always tough, but I have to start somewhere.
In the car, I was thinking about the conversation.
4 months ago, when I decided to quit gym and to pursue yoga and attended my first class at the studio, I was a mess. my salutations were shaky, as I was only exposed to half past ten yoga classes in the gym before this.
Without a teacher, my self studies at home based on YouTube videos, were not sufficient.
No one was there to correct my trikonasana alignments, or to teach me how to open my heart in bhujangasana.
I was in the dark ages.
But now, I can do all the surya namaskars with my eyes closed, I know when to inhale and exhale, and I know a bit of the sanskrit names.
He was right, my guru. I just need to give myself time, cut myself some slack, and keep on practicing.
With Love, Namaste.