Half moon is a yoga pose that has, say, your left hand reaching for the floor as the other extends toward the sky. Meanwhile, your left leg is planted on the ground while the other lifts up and points to the wall behind you. It’s a pose that doesn’t come too hard for me at first, perhaps it’s my years as a figure skater. But just when I’m feeling comfortable the instructor challenges the class to look straight up in the direction of the elevated hand.
First though, she prefaces with: “this can be scary, looking up.”
She’s right. I start by gliding my eyes north, head locked so as to avoid shattering the balance I have achieved. A few more seconds go by and I let my head turn in the direction of my right hand. For one second, I’m looking up. It’s a rush. Like jumping into the cold New England ocean from a jetty instead of easing yourself in from the beach. But all too soon, my knee buckles and I collapse out of the pose.
Travel’s like that. That feeling you get when you’re about to step out of your comfort zone is scary, but also exhilarating. Hell, doing anything that could make you fall is like that too. You could be psyching yourself up to sit at a bar alone and be at peace with your solitude instead of insecure, or climbing a mountain you feel you have no business scaling because you haven’t trained or simply haven’t done it before.
The thing with half moon though is I know someday I’ll get it, and what I will have accomplished is the mere mastering of a pose.
What matters is the practice.
The act of diving straight in even though it will be uncomfortable, of charging forward even when you’re scared, of looking up even if you know you’ll fall.