I remember learning yoga as a child during my summer vacations in India. A yoga teacher would come every morning and teach me and my brother many poses. Learning yoga was fun and I looked forward to practising the poses when I got back home in Los Angeles.
In recent years, yoga has become very mainstream. Yoga studios are popping up all over town and gyms also offer yoga classes. Yoga practice has become very popular as exercise and even as a form of lifestyle, to an extent, for stress-free and painless living. There are many reasons to practice yoga. My English teacher practices yoga for mental, physical and spiritual well-being. My grandmother practices it as a form of meditation and peace of mind. And my mom practices yoga to loose weight and achieve a lean body.
In my own life, yoga has taught me to stand up to fear and challenge of self-doubt. In particular, the sirsasana pose has taught me how to challenge myself and overcome self-doubt. This pose is better known as a headstand, and is referred to as "the king of all poses."
At first, I was afraid to try it. I was scared of going upside down. I distinctly remember my muscles getting tensed and my breathing disrupted. I fell a few times. After some time, I could hold the pose by supporting myself against the wall. Eventually, through deep breathing and concentration, with discipline and determination, I expanded into this difficult pose. I carefully followed eight steps to achieve a perfect headstand, and conquered my fear. Turning upside-down in sirsasana gave me a new perspective on life and the courage to try something new. I faced the fear of turning upside down.
I can certainly say that yoga has taught me to trust my instincts and overcome fear. Now when I look back, the poses that I learned as a kid have taught me to be free to try new things, with no fear of failure, judgment, or even going against the norm of turning upside down.