Well another year of competition has come and gone. And I have to say, the hardest parts about competing for me have been: (a) accepting/forgiving myself and (b) learning to accept compliments. Going into Sunday’s competition, the most important thing to me (if you asked me) was to do standing head to knee and standing bow. If I could just accomplish those two postures, without falling out, I had decided I would be happy with myself no matter what the rest of the routine looked like.
But the universe had other plans for me as it always does when it comes to yoga.
Before going on stage, I learned that I was not nearly as nervous as I had been the year before. Last year, I honestly contemplated running out of the building rather than getting up on stage. Getting up on stage last year was absolutely terrifying, and my performance reflected my inner feelings of terror.
This year, I was a bit nervous, but it seemed to be at a level that I would imagine is pretty normal amongst competitors. Before I went on stage, I kicked out twice in head to knee. I didn’t do the full posture. I just kicked out to test my balance. I was a little wobbly from nerves, but I thought I could keep it under control.
I felt pretty good when I walked out on stage. I took my bow and started in. I grabbed my left foot and kicked out confidently. I got this, I thought.
Yeah – I thought.
The problem was that my right leg was shaking from nerves. I couldn’t will it to stop or even back off a bit. Without the support of my right leg I couldn’t get my head to my knee.
I fell out.
No big deal. Try again. Always try again.
I don’t even think I kicked out the second time. My right leg was a gigantic, shaking mess. I was disappointed in myself.
After falling out of SH2K twice, I had no other choice than to move on into standing bow. Looking back, I realize I handled everything well from this point on. Falling out of SH2K can shake you up. If you let it set the tone for your whole routine, you are sunk. You literally have to forgive yourself on the spot and move on. The only think falling out did that I could never recover from was my sense of timing. I didn’t go over time, but I was never sure where I was on the yoga space-time continuum. I recognized I had lost my sense of timing and just did my best to move as slow and as steady as possible. That was all I could do.
The Remaining Postures
I’ll get pictures and video at some point, but for now we’ll just have to rely on my memory of how the rest of the routine went.
Standing Bow: My right leg was still shaking in standing bow, but I refused to fall out. I managed to hold it. I think it looked ok.
Bow and Rabbit: I did them. I think I did them well for me. I held them. No major issues.
Stretching: I was stunned when I bent forward in stretching and my elbows touched the floor. I have tight hamstrings, and my elbows never touch the floor. I never get my head to my feet. I still didn’t get my head to my feet, but I did celebrate how far down my elbows went.
Upward Stretching & Lifting Lotus: Upward stretching was good. I did this posture last year and was only able to lock my knees out about two weeks before competition. But last year, I was so nervous I dropped my legs going into it and had to try again. This year, I balanced and held it for about a seven count. I came down with control. I cannot smash my face into my legs, but I can lock out my knees and hold that sucker forever.
My lifting lotus was not so great. I did it again but didn’t get much of anywhere. I’m not that bothered by it.
By this morning, I realized I had problems with accepting myself and accepting compliments from others about my routine. Whenever someone congratulated me, I wanted to point out how I fell out of SH2K. Like that fall should diminish the rest of my work. It doesn’t. I am working on saying, “Thank you,” whenever someone says something nice to me about my performance and not pointing out all my shortcomings. In my mind, my routine was only worth anything if I could nail the first two postures. That’s just silly. And the universe knew I was being silly. And so I got what I got, and now I have to work with the outcome.
I am thankful now for falling out of SH2K. I am thankful for what I am learning about myself because I fell out of SH2K. If I had nailed it, I might not have listened to the things I needed to learn about myself.
I fell. I fell in front of 100+ people. I fell in front of myself. And I wish I didn’t, but I’m glad that I did.