The time has come in my yoga practice to set handstand aside for now until after my pregnancy. At around 20 weeks, it seems as though my belly has decided to pop out enough that it is making it quite difficult to stay balanced enough when I am in handstand. My center of gravity has shifted and created more of a natural back bend and my hips just don’t want to stay put. And on top of that, just this week I noticed that the effort I have to put into jumping my feet over my head is causing a negative reaction with my practice. I found myself trying too hard and getting discouraged when I couldn’t effortlessly jump my feet up to position my hips over my shoulders. And at the end of my practice I wasn’t feeling fulfilled, but rather had this lingering sense of anger in my subconscious that was bleeding over into the rest of my life. I couldn’t pinpoint why I felt this way and never imagined it had to do with the effort I was putting into continuing to move through handstand.
Set ego aside
I had been noticing for a couple weeks that I was becoming short tempered with my family and very easily frustrated when my toddler decided to simply be a toddler and avoid reason. Sure it could have been related to modifying my diet with the Whole30® program, or some other personal stress that we had going on at the time. But once I made the conscious choice to ask “Why is it important to me to keep handstand in my practice at this point in my pregnancy?”, and could figure that the only answer was ego, I had to let it go. What am I proving and to whom by continuing to force something that’s just not working in my life right now. There’s plenty of time to master handstand after I complete this pregnancy safely and have another healthy baby at home.
Listening to cues
I guess I thought I would be messing with my energy or the way I would feel after I practiced by not doing what my body was physically capable of doing, even if it was forceful. But truth-be-told it’s quite the opposite. By pushing beyond my “edge” and trying to press too hard in this transition posture (which I didn’t realize I had been doing until this week), I was actually breeding that negativity within my body unknowingly. And my Thoracic Outlet Syndrome was telling me this as well with how tired my arms were getting and how often I had been waking up at night with numb hands. I was just not being attentive to what my body was saying. Handstand wasn’t serving me and was making me someone I didn’t want to be.
Step back to move forward
After removing handstand from my practice, I have since realized (just in my last 2 practices) that even folding forward and jumping forward from downward facing dog is more challenging because of my growing belly. Something I hadn’t noticed when I was preoccupied with why handstand wasn’t working so well. It’s funny how just this week I’ve started noticing this growth and how it’s beginning to change my practice. I’m not sure when I took handstand out of my practice during my first pregnancy, but I would dare to guess it was sometime around 5 ½ or 6 months. Stay tuned for more updates as my Adamantine® Yoga practice evolves over the next few months.