As a child I participated in many extracurricular activities. My first memory of any sort of dance class or sport that I participated in was when I was a 5 or 6 years old living in Brooklyn and seeing the movies ‘Breakin’ and ‘Breakin 2 - Electric Boogaloo’ and immediately was drawn to Break Dancing so my mom sought out a place for me to take Break Dancing lessons. This was my first of many short lived hobbies/extra curricular activities.
(As I just looked at that trailer...not sure a 5 or 6 year old should be watching this movie!)
I had very supportive parents that when I said I was no longer interested in something they were OK with me ending that particular activity and moving on to the next. I participated in jazzercise, gymnastics, soccer, dance (tap, ballet, the aforementioned Break Daning, etc.), took guitar lessons and played basketball. I would say none of these things lasted more then 6 months, a season or a year with the exception of basketball. I even dropped out of Hebrew School (cue ‘Beauty School Drop Out’ music) and was not Bat Mitzvahed because I did not like Hebrew School and did not feel connected to the girls in class.
As I am just over a year into my yoga practice and maybe 18 years since I did those activities I am finally realizing why I did not want to continue any of those activities. I was “not good” at them. I did not want to continue them because I did not think I could do them. The reason basketball was something I committed longer to was because even though I was “not good” I was on a winning team full of supportive teammates, I got to play week after week even though I was not getting the ball in the hoop but everyone else was. We were a family and one time (yes only one time) in the 3 years that I played I scored a basket and if they could have raised me on their shoulders and paraded me around the gym they would have.
Now about one year into my yoga practice I have been starting to think about what I am “not good” at. My balance is poor and I should definitely forget about doing handstands. I have been recently flashing back to childhood Stacey and thinking well it does not seem like I can progress any further in my practice, maybe it is time to move on, maybe this is it? Then the yogi Stacey in me said no. I am the best me I can be right now. I am stronger inside which has been continuing to make me stronger outside. My goal with yoga is not to perfect or do every pose that is put before me it is to connect my head with my heart through my body, find the alignment on the mat to then bring alignment off of the mat and in to my everyday world. Similar to my basketball experience I have found a loving and supportive yoga kula (community). One where at the end of the class I have been raised up on the shoulders of my teachers, paraded around the yoga study and given the space to reframe “not good” to “exactly what I need right now.”It is about a year and a half since I wrote that and while I am still not sure I will ever do a handstand I do feel that my commitment to yoga and myself has helped me to deepen my practice, go deeper into poses and even achieve what I thought to be the unachievable!