Handstands, the ultimate expression of balance, grace, and body/mind integration…. Not to mention a pose requiring confidence, trust, and fearlessness. It is not surprising that this posture is my current challenge pose, or, as my instructor likes to say, greatest opportunity for improvement. When guiding me into this pose, she always says “kick a hole in the wall” to get me to kick harder off the ground. However, kicking a hole in the wall is much more difficult when your body is hitting the wall… of exhaustion, that is. After a full week of continuous practice and study, in which my body has done things I never thought possible, I woke up this morning barely able to pick up my toothbrush. What do you do at that moment–when you still have to get yourself up for meditation and another intense asana class? You kick down that wall. Stealing your mind and moving inward, you focus on the breath and on working the intricate and minute details of your practice which are often overlooked when you are feeling good and just sailing through your postures. Even though I wanted to just crawl into a fetal position and sleep, I kept going. Now, I’m not going to say that was my best practice ever. It was far from it. However, mentally and physically, I learned a great deal about pacing myself, conserving my energy, and working my foundation. Sure, I didn’t get my handstand this morning; but, each day brings me one step closer as I learn to push my limits and trust in myself to take a break as needed. I think we could all use a bit more of this pacing in our lives. We live in a culture obsessed with more. More money, more clothes, more friends, more success. Sometimes you just have to break down that ego and be content with where you are and who you are at this moment: not tomorrow, not yesterday, not in 5 minutes. Right now….. feeble, exhausted arms and all.