Despite repeated attempts in class and at home, I cannot seem to get up into crow pose (AKA Holy Shitasana). I feel a deep sense of failure and shame about this.
Crow pose requires balance and core strength and the ability to fold your body into itself. I’m having difficulty getting my knees up close enough to my upper arms because I have this monstrosity in the way. My massive, unsightly, annoying belly.
Once I begin to feel the frustration all I focus on is my belly. I send it angry, hateful messages. I belittle it. I blame it for my shortcoming. I get wholly distracted with negativity and shame. Is it any wonder why I can’t do the pose?
Yesterday’s class focused on truthfulness about our bodies and what we are capable of. Not that we were the “best” in class or the “worst” in class but personally where we were at, stretching into our own possibility. And you know what I thought about for 97% of the class?
Yep. How I suck.
So of course I kept falling out of poses and wavering and having knee pain, etc. ad nauseum. As the class went on, my frustration grew. I was distracted and comparing myself to others. I went into poses already feeling like I couldn’t do them or do them well.
It’s hard to hold a pose when you’re internal mantra is “I suck”. It’s hard to operate in the world, actually, if that’s what you’re hearing in your head.
As I wrote this post I went back to my mat 4 times to attempt to get into Crow. Each time I could only get my knees slightly on my upper arms. Once it comes to shifting my weight onto my arms and using my core- if that’s even what I am supposed to be doing- I freak out. I don’t trust myself to hold myself. I feel too heavy. I know I am too heavy. All I feel in that moment is panic and fat.
I thought maybe I’d feel better having written this but . . . I don’t. I’m trying to accept my limitations but not be defined by them but frankly, I am doing a really awful job at it. I don’t like being bad at things. I don’t like not succeeding. And most of all, I don’t like being fat. I’m sick of how I let it define me and create parameters for how I live my life.
I don’t know how to reset my brain to stop this way of thinking. I’ve trained it for 37 years. I have had thoughts of giving up on yoga. Maybe it’s not for me, not for fatties who have bellies that get in the way. I am so mad at myself for thinking that. I AM NOT A QUITTER. When it comes to every other aspect of my life, I don’t quit. But when it comes to me it’s an option? That’s some bullshit right there. Some real fucking bullshit.
My current inability to do Crow is a metaphor for how I approach my body, how I live in my body. I am emotionally abusive to my body and based on its size and shape, I have physically mistreated it as well. I have used my body as a scapegoat for years and as an outward sign of my self-belief that I am not worthy, am not good enough, and should be overlooked. I’m a good faker- I can put a stylish outfit together from meager offerings at department stores; smile, laugh and entertain, use my wits and sparkling personality to charm, fall back on my “pretty face” to distract enough to get by- but inside I feel those deep pangs of unworthiness and it’s painful. It’s painful to not accept yourself, to not love your body. To walk around in the world feeling like not enough is no way to live.
I am better than that.
I can DO better than that.
I WILL do better than that.
Just because that voice is familiar doesn’t mean what it says is true.
It’s time to tell myself something new. Something that is actually true.