August 13, 2017
Don’t believe everything you see. I cannot do a handstand. I’m close, slowly getting that sweet hang time, but not yet. This photo was taken when I went rock climbing with Jade this past week (A 'crackin’ instructor that teaches a 'rockin' Vinyasa class #punforthewin). As we climbed, I came to the realisation that my strength is in my legs rather than my arms. This insight brought on a breakthrough with my handstand, I began focusing on pushing off the ground on my exhale as I breathed strength into my shoulders, core, and legs to lift and hold me off the ground (the soft padding on the rock climbing floor also helped with the mental fear of falling). Totally stoked with my accomplishment I thought I would write a post about breath, the body, and advancing to handstand ……
but then I looked again at this photo. How misleading it looks. Frozen still in a posture I can only hold for a few seconds. The untruthfulness of the photo played to my ego but pained me mentally. In the world of Instagram where photos can be deceptive screenshots, filters, or photoshoped, how can you express truthfulness.
The first limb of Patanjali’s eightfold path of yoga is Yama which describes how we should conduct our actions and our ethical behaviors. Satya, the second of the five Yamas, is truthfulness in the way we think, speak, and act. This is a challenging concept as no two people experience truth in the same way. Each of us perceive life through our individualistic lens shaped by experiences, beliefs, and circumstances. One person’s truth may be another’s lies. Your own belief in truth can change and grow as you develop and deal with new changes/challenges in life.
There is great freedom in telling the truth, it enables us to be who we are and allows us to get out from behind a mask of others’ expectations. For this reason, I am trying to tell the truth in a photo that is a lie. I cannot do a handstand. Working on it, but not yet. As we all are able to remove layers of our cultural conditioning (i.e. the Instagram idealisms), we allow ourselves to begin to make space for a true, authentic self.