Standing bow is my nemesis. Like Moriarty to Holmes, Luther to Superman, like Nemesis herself to everybody. No matter how much I practice, I can't seem to stay balanced. It drives me crazy. Crazy, I tell you!
It's gotten to the point where I practice it at home more than any other pose. I think about corrections to try. I think about how to incorporate all elements simultaneously. I think about what I want to look like. I concentrate on my eyes, my breath, kicking, kicking, kicking. I also try to not think about it and just do it.
Alas, the bow mocks me.
I can't figure out the problem. I've asked every teacher I've ever had for suggestions and corrections. I've spent time in the room before and after class practicing so I could use both sets of mirrors.
My hips are aligned. I'm kicking hard into my hand. My knee is locked. My head is straight. My foot comes straight up over the top of my head. My weight is slightly forward so my standing leg isn't tilted. I even have my arm relaxed and my shoulder behind me. When examined by experts, I'm given excellent technical marks.
This leads me to believe that my key difficulty with the pose is psychological. I'm preventing myself from doing it. The question is why.
When I started doing Bikram a year and a half ago, I had no expectations of my performance. My first class wasn't too bad - all things considered - and I liked it more than I thought I would.
For the longest time I didn't see much change in my poses. I didn't mind. I was in the very worst shape of my life and I was just happy to be on a path.
Then I started to see progress. I've always been pretty flexible and pretty strong, but my understanding of the poses got better and when that happened, I saw changes. Except in standing bow.
I don't know when I realized it wasn't getting better, but when I did realize it, I asked my teachers about it. They examined, tweaked, suggested things.
Yet I'm at an impasse. I fall out every.single.time. I tell myself that just because I fell out yesterday doesn't mean that I will today. It gets harder to say this to myself, though, when every day I fall out again.
This is where the psychology comes in. This is something I have to believe in order to do. The problem is, my mind doesn't operate that way. I need to see it to believe it. So you see the obstacle.
I don't know how to overcome this. I know this - this method of thinking - is a hindrance in more than just standing bow. I know I'm limiting myself in other ways.
I have to believe in myself more. I have to believe in myself more than I don't believe in myself. Cool. Now that I've got that all figured out, I'm going to have a nice long cry. Sometimes I really hate yoga.