Amazing Yoga Moments

Woman in Tripod Pose

September 2, 2010

If you’re one of those yoga aficionados that can do all the crazy poses, like headstands and bird of paradise, this blog post will either bore you or amuse you, but if you are a yoga nerd like me and still working on the basics, hopefully this blog will encourage you to keep plugging away at your yoga practice.

I have a couple of yoga instructors who always ask at the beginning of class if there is a pose we would like to work on. I really appreciate this gesture, but, inevitably, the pose that always comes up is the headstand. I’m afraid to try a headstand because I don’t think my core and upper body are strong enough yet and, to be quite honest, I have a really hard head and resting all of my body weight on it really is not appealing to me. That and hearing the thud when class members fall out of a headstand is a little unsettling.

So, I always dread the part of class when we work on the designated pose because it forces me to go out of my comfort zone. I’ll try a few basic steps of the pose but always go to something more safe, like childs pose or goddess pose, to hang out and look busy until the rest of the class is done experimenting. I always figured one day I would get up the nerve to really try it out.

Well, that day came yesterday.

My yoga instructor must have known I needed a nudge, and she gave it to me. We were practicing tripod pose, and I got myself into the basic position just to see what it would feel like when she came over and pointed out the proper way for me to place my head. I had been doing it wrong all this time, and once she got my hands and head in the right position, it felt totally natural to pick my legs up and rest them on my arms.

I got into tripod pose (pre-headstand) with the help of my yoga instructor, Deirdre Sargent, and it felt amazing! I let out a little Woohoo! because this was a big deal for me. I was one step closer to a headstand. Hell, I think I probably could have raised up my legs with a little assistance, but I wasn’t going to push it; one yoga victory for the day was enough to put a smile on my face. I even got a few high fives from other class members. I’ll keep practicing the base tripod pose; my goal is to get those legs up in the air before the month is out for tripod headstand!

Thanks, Deirdre, for giving me the push I needed and doing it in such an encouraging way! I really appreciate everything you have taught me about yoga and myself.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria Klein September 2, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Hooray – congrats! This is a great accomplishment 🙂 Headstands/handstands are something I’ve consciously avoided, but sooner or later, that discomfort should always be bypassed.


Meg September 2, 2010 at 10:15 AM

I’m the same way. Small steps towards “ego poses”. Even now I’m cautious with headstand because I don’t want to injure my neck, which is very easy to do if you’re arms and core aren’t “locked in”. Congrats, and you’ll have those legs floating up in no time. Check me out on Twitter @yogasavestheday!


Harriet September 2, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Wow that looks really cool! I don’t know much about yoga but it looks like it takesa lot of strength to do that pose!


Maria Santoferraro September 2, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Meg – love your term “ego poses” – that is so true. I’m going to use that!
Harriet – surprisingly it did not seem like it took that much strength.
ALL – check out Victoria’s book – 27 Things to Know About Yoga (link is above in her comment!)


Erin OBryan September 2, 2010 at 5:05 PM

That’s cool I would love to try that. I don’t think I’m strong enough anywhere to even do the tripod.


Peach September 7, 2010 at 9:00 PM

You are in the big leagues now girl – yes, I can strike an awesome childs pose with you next time I am in town. I got the Warrior video for Christmas last year, it kicks my but everytime and I know I only get about half the poses correct. I am so impressed with your tri-pod position, it shows how strong you are – mind and body.
Way to go!


Maria @dailydownwarddog September 9, 2010 at 8:06 AM

Hey Peach – thanks for stopping by the D.D.D.
We will have to get together soon and do the Trudie Styler Warrior DVD together. How fun would that be! Don’t worry I can’t do half of the poses either!


Stacy October 10, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Mare, maybe check out Erich Shiffman’s book “Moving Into Stillness” for more great headstand advice — that’s what helped me get to the final pose! The “head in a basket” method might be easier for you than tripod, too — it worked for me, as I”m also trying to build upper arm strength. Doing a tripod is waaaaay hard. You look amazing in it!


Maria @dailydownwarddog October 10, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Stacy –
Thanks for the tip on the Erich Shiffman book – I just checked it out and it looks great. I am going to read it! That is not me in the picture – but I swear I looked just as good!


Lily January 19, 2013 at 10:50 PM

I (and prob lots of yogis) feels the same you when it comes to the scary poses. Thank you for the inspiration and wishing you the best 🙂


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