Once upon a time, I was a dedicated baby-yogi that religiously attended my Mysore ashtanga classes Monday-Friday. I battled diligently with Supta Kurmasana (Reclined Tortoise aka Kurmasana with bound hands and both feet behind-the-head). I started with my hands close-ish to touching and my feet inching towards my head (but certainly not behind it). I progressed to getting one foot behind my head, and eventually the second, but only with the fork-lift-like assistance of my teacher. I eventually set the goal of getting both feet behind my head without the assistance of anyone. Yes — I mean sheer leg power and determination to wiggle those f'ers over my head without any help. I tried. I wiggled. I pushed. I crumbled. I let loud exacerbated sighs reflect off of my face-planted mat. And then one day … while I was visiting a mysore class and teacher that was not my own … it happened. My second foot magically (and stubbornly) wiggled it’s way over my first foot that had been waiting patiently for YEARS to have it’s mate. I cried out in joy. I had reached the top of one of the hardest physical mountains I had ever attempted to scale. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I completed the pose cycle: I propped myself up, lifted my hips off the ground, and let my feet fly free into Titibhasana, a tight pivot into Bakasana, and shot my body back into Chaturanga, where I experienced the most satisfying vinyasa of my life.
The teacher had witnessed my success, sauntered over, placed their hand on my shoulder and simply stated: be humble.
My mouth dropped without any formation of words. There was no congratulations for the years of persistence — five times a week — constantly met with ‘almost-but-not-quite’. That moment stuck with me and taught me so much about myself and my students.
Work hard. Yes — be humble. No one likes a pompous asshole. But celebrate the hard earned victories. We don’t celebrate nearly enough, and if there is a beautiful cry welling up somewhere deep within your body — let that cry roar!
I realize this video isn't the posture I described, but it is the first handstand lotus after a year long injury, so this is my long-winded way of saying: F YES!