A New Challenge

Remember back in November when I was freaking out about doing forearm plank and handstands in yoga class? I’m happy to report that while I have yet to kick up into handstand, I did hold forearm plank for one minute. I still struggle to hold side forearm plank and transition smoothly from one side to the next but I can feel myself getting better at it with practice. Handstand on the other hand? HARD. Supple said it herself while spotting me- my fear is stopping me from kicking all the way up. I’m trying to visualize myself in the pose as well as building my strength with daily practice. It could take months or years but I will do a handstand one day. Mark my words!

Once while I was in class I could see into the other room where the advanced class was taking place. I saw these nimble yogis bending their bodies into a pose that I thought I could never in a million years be able to do. I joked about it on Twitter and my friend Amy sent me this:

It would be so awesome if I could actually do this one day.

Last night our new focus pose was announced and I cried an internal “holy shit!” when I heard what it was. It’s not quite the pose above but something like it. It’s called kakasana or crow pose and it looks like this:

Kakasana or Crow Pose or as I like to call it "Holy Shitasana"

You guys? I weigh close to 200lbs. How the F am I going to lift that heft up using my upper body strength?! I couldn’t even get my feet up. I basically squatted and attempted to copy the pose our instructor demonstrated. I could barely lean my legs onto my arms. I kind of laughed to myself, shaking my head and thinking “this one is going to kick my ass”. I feel like I need to do 1000 push ups and sit ups daily to get strong enough to pull this off.

I will keep going. I will keep trying. I will try to tell myself it’s possible to get better, stronger. I will try not to let fear scream out HOOOOLLLYYYYY SHIIIIIIIIT. I mean I used to believe that I could not do plank and now I do it (begrudgingly as it is not my favorite). I used to believe I could not do handstands and yet I’ve given it a go repeatedly and even been successful at half-handstand.

The point being that what I believe for myself is what is possible. And I believe that I can and will do holy shitasana kakasana some day.



30 thoughts on “A New Challenge

  1. Crow pose is awesome! When we did it in level 2 yoga, the instructor had us use the assistance of the block to hold it. I bet you will be surprised at what your body can do in no time! Don’t psych yourself out, Sizz! πŸ˜‰

  2. You and I are in such similar places!! I started a yoga challenge myself yesterday. And I CANNOT do crow pose or a headstand. Dreams…

  3. i recently got my feet up in crow pose, and while upper body strength does play a part, you’ll be surprised how LITTLE you need to do this one!! it’s more a balance issue, i swear!

  4. I have the urge to get on the floor and try that right now in my cube. I’m just having a hard time visualizing my knees in my armpits. ha!

  5. Like!

    And, for the record – I weigh 100lbs, and I CANNOT do crow pose no matter how hard I try. Correction: I can’t HOLD crow pose. Some people (me) are not built for that pose – other people (you!?) can nail that shit with practice. Keep at it, lady – I know you will nail it.

  6. Holy shitasana is brilliant. Seriously, you should share that with your teacher – I bet she’d crack up. I have a feeling we’ll be reading a post in the not too distant future about how you worked up to crow. πŸ™‚

  7. I started out sort of freaking out from crow but have learned to like it. Not that I’m some expert but a lot of crow is in your core, which you’ve been strengthening and learning to control all along now. You might surprise yourself. πŸ™‚

  8. Oh hon you can definitely do it. Doesn’t have to do with your weight. It has A LOT to do with concentration. And build up to it (as with everything in yoga). I’ve tried to do crow pose and I’ve managed to do it maybe once! For like 0.00643 seconds. I know you can do it!

  9. Back in the day when I was seriously into yoga I was able to do that pose. *remembers fondly* Then I gained all this extra weight and now I’m starting the new with diets and exercise and hopefully this summer I can start taking up yoga again. (I’ll either have the extra money for a class or be able to fit it into my school schedule.)

  10. And then I hit submit before I finished my comment. Just meant to hit enter. But I was GOING to say that you can totally do this one day.

  11. Hey, don’t psych yourself out! You’re just intimidated by how it looks, but just try it one step at a time. I can’t hold this one for very long, but for the record, I currently weigh about 178 lbs, don’t have any arm strength to write home about, and I can do the pose. Strength plays a part but balance plays a bigger part. Try it with your toes still touching the floor till they’re still on the floor but bearing no weight, and then just slowly lift them off the floor from there. It works, I swear!

  12. You will DEFINITELY be able to do these one day. I know it! I can *barely* eek out parsva bakasana and I remember thinking I’d never be able to do kakasana. Focus on what you can do and just keep trying. That’s part of the fun, because once you can do it, you’ll just move onto something else you *can’t* do. It’s an endless cycle! PS. I agree with Laura, these are balance postures! Some days I can do them, some I can’t. My muscle strength doesn’t change all that much, but my focus, presence and breath does!

  13. My yoga center offers a class called “Goddess Yoga” which is for those who are self-conscious of their body weight. The class works to get you into those poses at your own pace without feeling any pressure. Either way, you can do it. Plank for 60 seconds is serious. I held it for like 25 the other day and thought I was going to collapse.

  14. Your yoga posts keep reminding me that there really is something to going to a class when it comes to pushing yourself.

    1 min. forearm plank? BRAVA!

    Good luck with crow! A few years ago a friend of mine who’d really gotten into yoga was so excited when she managed to do that pose that she painstakingly got herself set up on the floor to show it to me.

  15. And think of how strong you’re going to become in working on that pose! Even if you never do achieve that pose (which I totally think you can), you’re going to gain so much from the practice of it!

  16. Everytime I’ve attempted crow pose I thought I would fall flat onto my forehead. The mantra knees in armpits rings through my head! ps…love the photo, can I get one with my head please?

  17. I love that you keep showing up and walking through. You may be saying HOLY SHIT, but one day soon it’ll be because you’re doing it! Keep it up, lady!

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