Flying Over MY Fears


The first workshop I ever taught was called “Fly Over Your Fears”.  The description of the workshop is:

“What is the scariest part of inversions? The fear of falling, of course! In this workshop, we will learn how to safely fall out of inversions into backbends and cartwheels. When the worst that can happen is a controlled fall, there is nothing to be afraid of; we can invert to our hearts content! This workshop is meant for any one with a sense of adventure – beginners and yoga junkies alike!

We will start by warming up our bodies, especially our core – front and back. Then we will break down different ways to come into and fall out of handstands and forearm stands – first at the wall and then with partners. Once fears are abated, you will learn different ways to safely incorporate inversions into your every day practice – falling included!

There is no reason why you can’t use every transition as an opportunity to give your legs a break… by using your hands and arms! This workshop will teach you how to make inversions just another pose or transition– nothing to sweat about, and certainly nothing to be afraid of!”

Cut to: me breaking my wrist September 5, 2014, and then having surgery September 12, 2014.  A few short weeks later, I found out I was pregnant.  As my wrist healed, my body grew larger and larger, and heavier and heavier, making sure my two baby girls could grow as big and healthy as possible before they met the outside world.  After I gave birth, I was chomping at the bit to get back into yoga, back into my asana practice, and back into my body.  There was one nagging problem: for the first time in my entire yoga practice, I was experiencing fear.  Would my new wrist be able to handle all of this extra weight?  My old wrist never had to hold up anything close to this much.  Would the stitches from the incision be healed fully enough?  Even though the doctor gave me the go ahead, did she really understand what I would be asking my body to do?  All of these thoughts and fears kept swirling in my mind and in my heart.

In one of my meditation sessions, it came to me: “Heidi, you HAVE to walk your talk.”  You have written countless articles, taught workshops all over the world, and advised all of your students that: it is all in our heads, and once we get out of our heads, and realize there is nothing to fear, we will take flight.  I needed to listen to me.  And, so, I did.  I left the city, and went to a lawn.  The very same lawn where I taught myself to do handstands in the first place.  I did my yoga practice, and then, with my back super warm, I asked my husband to spot me falling over into wheel the same way we do in my workshops: once, twice, then I was ready to go it alone.  It was scary.  No, it was terrifying, and all I could think of was the stitches in my abdomen (forgetting the mobility it would require of my wrist!).  But, I exhaled all of those fears, thought of my doctors reassuring me that I would be fine, found my inner voice which told me I could, and I did it.  It felt AMAZING!!!!  Let me tell you: if you have never given yourself the opportunity to fall into a wheel from a handstand or handstand attempt (DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS FULLY WARM with a very strong wheel practice), it is SUCH A RUSH!!!! So, I did it again, and again, and again.  And then, it happened: I found my center.  It wasn’t very long, it wasn’t very pretty, but it was perfect.  It felt as if I had finally returned to my body, and I was getting back to me, in a very small, but very meaningful way.

Also: it just so happened (I had no idea until I made the connection after), that the very day that I did my first wall-free handstand after my surgery on that lawn was the one-year anniversary of the surgery itself.  That is no co-incidence.  The Universe always has a plan.

When we conquer our fears, and prove them to be what they are: “False Evidence Appearing Real”, we feel like we can conquer the world.  What are you afraid of that you know you can conquer?  I challenge you to fly over YOUR fears today!  Do it!!! You won’t regret it.

Love and LIGHT,



3 responses to “Flying Over MY Fears”

  1. Ayaka says:

    I had no idea that you had some fear, because you did it as effortlessly as you always have!

    I am not afraid of falling or going upside down, but it just seems that I can’t hold myself with two hands or can’t balance well enough with two hands :( (I can do forearm stand and headstand just fine) Maybe that ‘finding center’ is what I need to do :)

    • Heidi says:

      Hi Ayaka! Thank you for your super kind words. I admit, fear is not a feeling I had any experience with in the yoga pose realm. When I was learning all of the poses for the first time, it never occurred to me to be scared. Sometimes there is a pose that for some reason, we believe we cannot do. Unless there is some real physical reason why we cannot, it is usually our heads preventing us from being in that pose. Can you do crow pose? You hold yourself up on two hands there ;) Xox, Heidi

      • Ayaka says:

        Thank you, Heidi, for the tips! Yes, I can do crow & Side crow no problem, and I can sort of move to flying crow from there. (well, really not a picture perfect look :P) I have tried bending knees and jump my way up to holding with just two hands (by walls usually) but I have never find it become stable enough to hold my entire body… I will definitely try lifting myself up slow from crow pose as you said :)

        Not really related, but one thing that it was obvious after giving birth (with caesarean)is my hip which had already been my tight area got even tighter! It makes sense but I think it is still interesting how our body change with the pregnancy :)

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