Funny: although I have crazy fear of doing a headstand in the middle of the room, I can float my legs up no problem when I’m near a wall.
It’s psychological, of course, but that wall also serves a useful purpose: just knowing the wall is there to catch me lets me push further into an unknown space — the space of total balance.
The thing is, unless you’re perfectly vertical, headstand is a lot of work. Your arms really need to press into the floor to keep the full weight of your body up in the air. It’s tiring!
When you’re in balance, though, it feels effortless. Free. Like you’re floating. You could stay in headstand this way forever.
Remember learning to ride a bike with training wheels? My training wheels were always slightly off-kilter, so my bike (purple, from Sears, with streamers coming out of the handlebars) leaned either a bit to the left, or a bit to the right. Very uncomfortable. But oh, the stomach-churning panic when I first tried to ride the damned thing after the training wheels came off!
Getting to balance is scary.
Learning where perfect balance is — how far to launch your legs up without toppling over onto your back; how to make those two wheels go fast enough to keep the bike vertical and the skin on your knees intact — takes practice. It’s a learning curve, which for some people is easy and natural, but for others (like me with headstand), not so much.
Those of us in that second group might fall a bunch of times before we hit that sweet spot.
Which is where training wheels can help. For headstand, that might be a wall, or someone to spot you, or hell, just a big ol’ pile of pillows.
Some yoga teachers insist that headstand learners should start out in the middle of the room, the very first time they try, so that they never get psychologically dependent on the wall (like me!) There’s merit to that philosophy.
I, however, tend to be a gentler soul. If using some kind of “crutch” or “training wheels” helps you find that balance point and feel it in your body without hurting yourself in the process, I say more power to you!
This is not just about headstands and bicycles, of course
You may have figured out, 250-some odd words into this post, that the principles here don’t just apply to yoga, or riding a two-wheeler. Whatever your big goal is, when you’re in total balance, everything feels easy. Everything flows.
It’s getting to the balance that’s the challenge.
Where are you still looking for that balance point? Is there something big you want to accomplish, but fear of toppling over is holding you back?
Or are you struggling with something, working really hard at it and feeling like you’re not getting anywhere?
If so, maybe some training wheels are in order. Along with permission to use them. (That part’s key.)
Balance is the ever-elusive goal in every area of my life. Ever-elusive because the only constant is change, and since I’m always changing, what constitutes balance for me is always changing.
Right now the big area I’m focusing on is balance in my work and money spaces. I’ve been making huge changes, and since I’m tired of crashing my proverbial bike and scraping my proverbial knees, I’m making no qualms about the fact that I’m attaching some training wheels to get me going!
Here are some of my training wheels these days:
• Chris Guillebeau’s The Empire Building Kit and other Unconventional Guides
• Chris Guillebeau and Pam Slim’s $100 Business Forum (also an Unconventional Guides product)
• Johnny B. Truant and Lee Stranahan’s Question the Rules
• Dave Navarro’s The Launch Coach Library and workshops
• Naomi Dunford’s Marketing School
They’re making the transition from three-wheeler (my existing business life) to two-wheeler (my ideal vision of my business life) a lot more stable.
I’ve already written a preliminary review of the Empire Building Kit (preliminary only because the EBK is a year-long kit, and I’ve only been doing it about a month), and as I dig further into the other wheels of training, I’ll give you my honest opinion. (Or opinions, plural, because I’m not always of one mind.)
…And back to headstand
Because I feel a lack of closure if I don’t come full circle.
Cool thing: I have now experienced perfect balance in headstand a few times.
Near a wall, of course. (Which I have no plans to abandon anytime soon.)
You may be the Torpedoes-Be-Damned, Learn To Do Headstand In The Middle Of The Room type, but I, for one, am grateful for training wheels!
And yes, in case you’re wondering, those links in the bullet list are affiliate links. [With the exception of Naomi’s Marketing School, because I couldn’t find an IttyBiz affiliate program. Anyone?]
That means if you click through and end up buying something, I’ll make some money, and you’ll be helping to support me in my quest to create a sustainable life doing what I love. How cool is that?
Just one of the many tools I’m learning from my Business Training Wheels.
I’ll provide a more detailed review of each of these products later, but suffice it to say that I think they are all good products. I only sign up as an affiliate for products I can honestly recommend without feeling all queasy and gross about it. Just sayin’.
Will they be the right products for you? That I can’t say. But I will share a lot more details about each of them in the weeks to come, so watch this space.
Chris Guillebeau says
Thanks for the props. You’re doing great, and you’re in good hands with Dave, Johnny, and Naomi as well.
Good luck with balance, world domination, and everything else.
Melissa Dinwiddie says
Thanks Chris! 🙂 World domination here I come!