We did a shoulder stand today in yoga class. I don’t remember what it was called. We also did tiki something or other, aka firefly. That was hard for me – I couldn’t get my hands flat on the mat behind my heels, so I couldn’t really do it. But then we did crow, which I’m an old hand at, and so that was fun. It was a lot of upper body via hip openers (we were befuddled too, until our yoga teacher showed us!), and so it is really no surprise that there was a shoulder stand in there.

My left shoulder comes out of joint. Always has. Loose ligaments, shallow joint, I’m what the doctor called a “voluntary dislocator.” I don’t know how medical of a term that is, but what he meant is that he couldn’t get the damn thing out of joint when he was examining it, but as soon as he asked me to show him, I slipped that sucker right out of joint. And yes, the ball really is coming right out of the socket. And no, it doesn’t hurt.

Except that time I was doing too much Butterfly at swim practice, and my shoulder finally had enough and slammed in and out. I’ve always been wary of it since then.

Even Downdog can be a challenge if my shoulder is tired. I was nervous about the shoulder stand, but I pushed through that. Wait, that’s getting ahead of myself – when we started out, it was in the general position of doing downdog, but instead of tipping down on your hands, you are on your forearms. So then we sent one leg at a time up in the air, to get a feeling for it, but that never really helps me, maybe because I’m neither flexible enough nor strong enough to get the leg up very far. So finally, I took a breath and kicked up. I didn’t get very far that first time, but wow.

There is something about going upside down. We do it all the time as kids, and think nothing of it. It is so natural, so much something to not fear. And then we stop doing it, and our bodies change and it becomes scary again. Maybe we are just no longer used to falling.

I didn’t mind not getting my legs all the way up the first time I kicked up. I just was amazed at how it felt to be free for that instant. I did make it up after that – the fear was gone, the hope and joy was there. I was able to hold it fairly well once I was up as well, and I definitely was working my shoulder. It stayed in joint. I was very happy.

I was looking forward to class all week – it is the highlight of my week, and Jacob shows you pretty much how I feel afterwards, which probably tells you why I look forward to it so much.