40 year olds doing Headstands

by on March 1, 2010

The Goddess did a headstand today in her yoga class.
Now I do understand that readers under the age of say… 25 … won’t find this at all earth-shattering, but nonetheless I can hear the applause and gasps of admiration from anyone within a half-decade of my 40+ years.

Especially if you haven’t attempted said stunt since … oh, I don’t know …. fifth grade?!

However, as with so many of the asanas (poses) one does in yoga, the Physical aspect is seldom as life altering as what goes on in your head.

As we all knelt down facing the wall, blankets folded to protect unsuspecting shoulders and necks, I could hear the sharp intake of breath as the instructor outlined what we were about to attempt.

And the head-chatter starts …
“Is he insane?”
“Has he seen how much extra weight I’m carrying?”
“I could crumple my neck like an accordian, never to stand upright again.”
“Ok, head in hands, legs walking toward wall … don’t think my knees have ever been this close to my nose … breathe … and Push!”
“Wow, look at that! I’m up!”
“Thank god for the wall but still, I’m UPSIDE DOWN!”
“I think every ounce of blood in my body is now in my head!”
“What does he mean … Breathe?”
“In this position?”
“Breathe in … Breathe out … Breathe in …. Breathe out … hey, this is not so bad.”
“Breathe in … Breathe out … you know what?”
“I think I could try this again tomorrow.”
“And maybe, in time, move a little further from the wall?”

And as I dropped my legs back down to earth and settled to recover in Child’s pose, I began thinking about what else I might not be trying because it looked to scary … seemed too hard …. or threatened to turn my world upside down.

Things not yoga related.

Things like leading webseminars, and writing ebooks, and picking up the phone to talk to strangers.

Things as adventurous as sky-diving and as mundane as new recipes.

Things that, for some deeply hidden reason, I’ve already decided I’m not good at – could not be good at – without ever having given myself a chance to prove otherwise.

Do you have things like that?

Well, I’m going to challenge you to pick one of those things – just one – and do it.
Make a commitment here in the comment box, and then come back and announce it to the world.
The cheers we give you will be deafening!

And don’t you dare listen to the chatter in your head – it’s just there to protect you.

And you don’t want to be protected.
You want to be brave, and audacious, and deliciously daring.
You want to feel the exhilaration of blood rushing to your head and the thrill of heights conquered and demons crushed.

I know you do, because I do too.
I worked it out while I was upside down.

Bliss and blessings, dear ones.
The Goddess known as Jacqui

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Goldstein March 2, 2010 at 10:17 pm

I’m a big fan of yoga… have been
wanting to make it more of a ritual
for me.

Def will be this year… thanks!
.-= Eric Goldstein´s last blog ..Manifesting What You Want: A Process To Do It =-.


Nick Logan March 2, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I love YOGA… Sun Salutation and Child Pose…ahh…so relaxing…

Most people think Yoga is “piece of cake…” until they try it and get sore in places they never knew existed. So relaxing…

Looking forward to more posts.
.-= Nick Logan´s last blog ..By: Nick Logan =-.


emmie olivas March 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Great analogy on how these fearful thoughts enter our heads on a daily basis. This week I am going to challenge myself and talk to strangers. It never hurt anybody, right? Maybe it is someone who is need of a friend and you would have never known. Be carefree this week and don’t let fear get in your way.


Jacqueline Gates March 3, 2010 at 8:35 am

Wonderful, Emmie! Let’s have a ‘carefree week’!


Danielle Zack March 2, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Again, you never cease to entertain us with your lessons. 🙂
What an inspiring story! The first thing our brain is trained to do is ‘freak out’ at any new task or adventure. You are absolutely right, we need to ditch the head chatter and be daring!! I know I too have missed out on so much because I have been to fearful to try it. What is awesome, is 40yr olds being brave enough to try something that seems crazy. If you all could stand on your heads, what’s stopping me from doing anything?? I have actually been wanting to get involved in a yoga or pilaties(sp?) but I’ve been making excuses for why I don’t have enough time. So, I’m challenging myself to get involved!! Thanks for the challenge Jackie!

You’re awesome and it’s a delight sharing in your content here!
.-= Danielle Zack´s last blog ..How to Recruit Great Prospects into Your Business =-.


Jacqueline Gates March 2, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Thank you, Danielle! I do appreciate your comments and encouragement a great deal ~ and highly recommend that you try yoga. It’s life-altering and so good for those of us who spend waaaaay too many hours hunched over a keyboard!


Susan Davis March 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm


Headstand…. not in a million years!!! I am giving you a standing ovation!!1 (((((( applause))))))

In trying to do P90X when I got to the Yoga DVD, I had to just shake my head. I am carrying around about 75 extra pounds and Yoga and I do not mix at the moment! But I will be there… and one day, you and I will be able to go to a Yoga class together when I come visit!

Proud of you!

Live a Juicy Life,

.-= Susan Davis´s last blog ..30 Day Free Trial Approach to Goal Setting =-.


Jacqueline Gates March 3, 2010 at 8:33 am

You’re on, Girlfriend! And I just adore the new tag line ~ Living a Juicy life is what it’s all about!


Teresa Ivory March 2, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Inspiring! I’m past the 40s and haven’t been practicing yoga as much as I did in my 20s, just a few of the basics to stay flexible. No longer! I’m going back to working on some of the more challenging poses. Thanks for the encouragement, Jacqui!
.-= Teresa Ivory´s last blog ..Intuition and Computer Bags =-.


Jacqueline Gates March 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

Yoga is, in my opinion, one of THE most Goddess-worthy gifts you can give yourself – flexibility, strength and a focused mindset, who could ask for more from an exercise?


Val Wilcox March 3, 2010 at 11:56 am

What a fun post! Stretching and growing in every aspect of your life is so key to enjoying a great life all the way through.
My challenge is to get back into the workout routine. I let it slip. My intention is to work out 3 times this week!

Thanks for the gentle nudge,
.-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..Meet Malin Berdette, World Traveler Extraordinaire =-.


Tracey Keefer March 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm

LMAO!!! Okay breathe! Breathe again! Oh so funny Goddess! I was right there with you doing that headstand the thoughts in your head could have been mine, but you are right we tell ourselves we cannot do things that we most certainly can! We must believe and kick fear out the door and go for it! Thanks for the encouragement!

“Dream, Believe, Become…”
.-= Tracey Keefer´s last blog ..Dreams Create New Careers for the Unemployed! =-.


Sunshine & Baba March 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

For the past four years I do Yoga at least 4 days in a week and that keeps me going. It makes me calm down. I started Yoga after my back surgery and if I stop doing Yoga I am in pain. I learned Yoga when I was still in the US and finally end up in the Land of Yoga with my Indian husband. If you get time, you may go through my Yoga post in my blog http://madamasebastian.blogspot.com/2010/02/yoga-day-one.html

Thank you for Sharing
.-= Sunshine & Baba´s last blog ..Lessons Un-Remembered =-.


Life Coach Nicole October 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm

How inspiring and insightful that a physical pose can elicit such wisdom. We should all try to do a headstand especially if we think it’s impossible to do at “our age.” Don’t forget to use a pillow.
Life Coach Nicole´s last blog post ..Does Coaching Involve Teaching


Jacqueline Gates October 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Goddess Nicole, thank you for visiting! I now do a 20-breath headstand every single morning. It’s been an interesting experiment in mindfulness, focus and trust. Not to mention, that I’m fighting gravity tooth and nail LOL


Aurelia Risley October 23, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I think that is absolutely fabulous, and I believe we all could continue doing things like that if we would just not stop doing such things in the first place. Here where I live in St. Louis, there is a large gymnastics school that accepts people of ALL ages. It’s just good for your body, your bones and your joints to get that kind of physical workout. Keep it up, and thanks for the advice on applying that principle to other areas of our lives!


Jacqueline Gates October 23, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Aurelia (luscious name, by the way!) thank you so much for your pertinent comment. It would be best if we didn’t stop doing fun stuff to start off with, but as they say, it’s never too late.
And it’s exciting to see how the energy of new adventures flows into other parts of one’s life.


Armil@ new career November 19, 2010 at 6:21 am

Its really amazing! Even in his age he can still do headstands alone. He really had a secret on it. Well he can do it because he really believe that he is capable of doing it.
We must believe and kick fear out the door and go for it! Thanks for the encouragement and thanks also for sharing this info to us.


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