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Class theme: Fear of Falling and the Fear of Failure

A theme and class around the transformative journey that explores two intrinsic fears many of us share at some point in our lives: FEAR. We will explore this through the journey to our peak pose: Handstand. The practice of this upside down balancing posture we are confronted with the fear of falling. The fear isn't just about the physical decent but deeply connected to our life outside the mat. The fear of failing in our ventures, relationships, and aspirations. But, remember,

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

- Confucius

Embrace every tumble, every wobble and learning from it. Let's move past our fears and replace them with courage, understanding, and self-belief.

In your opening posture. Center your students and bring their awareness inward. Instruct taking deep inhales and long exhales. As you focus on your breathe, feel your fears and reservations about todays practice dissipate and embrace the challenges without fear.

Mimicking the handstand posture in Mountain Pose and laying flat on the mat. In Mountain pose by stretching arms to the sky as you flex your wrists pressing your hands as you will when your hands are on the mat. In addition, engage your core and slightly tuck your tailbone as you engage the muscles with awareness of what will be necessary to perform a handstand.

Warming up the wrists in tabletop and incorporating postures to stretch the hamstrings (Pyramid, Skandasana, Wide-leg forward folds, Uttanasana etc.,) and open the hips (for press up handstands) During my class I incorporated both press up and kick up handstands. The press up handstand also requires opening the hips. I had my students work on this posture from Wide leg forward fold (Prasarita Padottanasana).

Handstand drills and prep to incorporate throughout class:

  • Practice floating up (start with one leg at a time and then progress to two legs at a time) to the top of your mat in downward facing dog (trying to get the hips over your shoulders)

  • Kick Up by the Wall: Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart, fingers spread wide. Kick up gently, allowing the wall to support you.

  • Press Up on the Mat: Start in Downward Dog. Walk your feet toward your hands and press up, engaging your core.

  • From Wide leg forward fold: Press forward into your hands and working on getting your hips over your shoulders as you straddle press up to a handstand.

Imagine every failure, every fall, as a stepping stone guiding you towards growth and wisdom. Each stone strengthens your path. Let the fear transform into experience and wisdom, molding you into a stronger and more resilient individual.

Quotes to incorporate:

  • "Fall seven time, stand eight." -Japanese proverb

  • "The only thing standing between you and your goal is the story you keep telling yourself as why you can't achieve it." - Jordan Belfort

  • "Courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid. Courage means you don't let fear stop you." - Bethany Hamilton

  • "Don't fear failure but rather fear not trying." - Roy T. Bennet

Savasana Mediation and Visualization:

As you close your eyes, imagine yourself standing at the edge of a cliff, overlooking a beautiful valley. Take the leap and feel yourself soar, free from the fear of falling and failing. If you start to fall, imagine a gust of wind lifting you back up. Realize that you have the power within to rise again, every single time.

In the silence of your mind, tell yourself. "I am stronger than my fears. Each fall is a lesson. Each failure, a step towards success."

Closing practice: (this resonated with me being the mom of three boys who played basketball)

Rise and bring your hands to heart center. As we close our practice today, remember that in life, just like yoga, it is not about avoiding falls or failures but about how we rise, learn and grow from them.

To end in the words of Michael Jordan. "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I have been trusted with the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

Carry this lesson with you as you step off the mat and face the world. Thank you for sharing your energy and courage today. Namaste 🙏🏼

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