During dinner one evening, I mentioned to my husband that my confidence has grown since I started in December 2013 and I’m ready for new opportunities to challenge myself and explore my abilities.
In class the next day, my instructor, Sonya, starts ripping out some crazy asanas. I’m (67.8%) sure that she made up some of them. It was engaging and wild. Even the music was more energetic. This was not our average basics class.
Then Sonya decided to prep some of us for handstands. I instantly felt my heart soar. I enjoy the few inversions that I know but always hesitated to try new ones because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, if I was strong enough. She gave me the green light for forearm balance (due to my wrist injury) and I quickly pulled my mat back against the wall.
I started in dolphin and inched my toes towards my face. On my tippie toes, I reached the moment of truth: I could slowly bend my knees and raise my heels upward (which requires more advanced control) or simply kick up and let the wall stop me. I tried the first. Failed. Then tried the later.
My heels sent a resounding thud through the room but I was up there–or down there, rather–with my head towards the floor and my heels overhead. That was easy. I slowly moved one heel away from the wall, and then the other, feeling for alignment in my spine and hips. I grasped that magic moment, standing on my own without the wall, for a glorious three seconds before my toes fell towards the ground. I shrieked with annoyance. So close! Everyone laughed and I giggled with them. I became giddy. Before class, I couldn’t do a forearm balance at all. Now I could do one for three seconds! I got back into dolphin and tried again.
I hadn’t know it but our psychic studio co-founder, Shon, explained that she and Sonya had decided that the studio needed a change of pace. An exploratory class–which I affectionately call Wild Wednesdays–was created to let students toe their edge and try new things.
I am thoroughly convinced that everyone needs a Wild Wednesday on the schedule, at least one day where you commit to taking on a new challenge and showing yourself what you’re capable of. Taking the plunge is the best decision you can make for yourself.
Safety If possible, make a class day your exploratory day so that you can try new challenges under the guidance of a professional. If you have a large class, it may even help to approach your instructor beforehand and let him or her know that you’ll be branching out a bit. That way, the instructor knows to look out for you.
Intention Most people set an intention, a concise message that they carry with them throughout the session. On your Wild Wednesday, try to set an intention that is specific. Rather than thinking, “I’m going to push all the edges!”–which may lead to your sudden demise in a hot session–try, “I will fully explore my balance today.” It’s an intention that makes challenges manageable. In that example, challenging your balance affects where your place your gaze (or eyes closed!) and the placement of your extremities, both of which can increase the difficulty and focus required for balancing poses.
Integrity In a class setting, it’s easy to compare yourself to other students, especially the more advanced ones. This can be dangerous when you’re trying something new. Avoid comparing yourself with your classmates. Practice integrity by focusing on your alignment and pushing your personal comfort zone, not letting the competitive side of your ego get in the way.
Let me know about your first “Wild Wednesday” experience!