Going upside down, is by itself a powerful shift in perception, but doing it within a team offers profound opportunities for both trust building and recognizing the strength we cultivate through cooperation.
I do not trust my own strength to go upside down, even in a preparatory L pose at the wall, but when a fellow yogi becomes my friend by supporting and lifting the back of my heart upwards, while encouraging me to tilt and level my pelvis, I find a new level of freedom and courage in my own body.
My yoga practice is a true metaphor for most of life’s challenges. Learning to stay present and find balance between my strength and flexibility on the mat often has a lot to teach me about the nature of loving people. At times I over reach and strain my body because I am not paying attention to the real limit of my personal strength. Other times I don’t give myself a full stretch because I don’t trust my strength to support me. Either way, it is a metaphor in my marriage and with my growing children that I am giving more than I have, or demanding more than is possible.
My yoga practice teaches me how to be patient and live within this balance, even on the days when balance is nowhere to be found. When my one legged poses are wobbling with my toes barely lifted, I do not leave the mat. Learning to stay and witness what out of balance feels like give me the courage to witness when the momentary lapses of emotional maturity and hurtful communication errors that my wavering balance creates between loved ones, especially teenage loved ones.
Still, I come back over and over again to the truth of being held upside down, which is that we are better together. We are stronger than we know when we can ask and receive help. Our sense of purpose is increased when we are loved as is our capacity to heal and our general well being. Practicing partner yoga with someone you love might be one of the most bonding activities you can share.
Its one thing to have a fellow yoga classmate hold my back when I am seeing the world upside down, but it is another entirely when it is my husband or teenage son who supports me against our kitchen wall.
The truth is that we are all surrounded by more love and support than most of us are able to recognize on most days. Putting yourself in awkward, upside down situations that require you to open up to help might be one of the easiest ways to bring the alignment your heart wants into your days. We are a herd tribe, we humans, and real connecting happens through our body. Let someone you love hold the back of your heart and see the world inverted.
It might be the little shaking up that your love has been waiting for.