Headstand and mosquito bites

I had never tried a headstand before this 200hr YTT course.  I was shocked when we were asked to do a headstand AND a handstand on day 2.  I was scared I’d hurt my bad neck again.  I was scared my shoulders and hands would not have enough strength to hold me up and I would fall.  Even worse, I might fall on my friends on my sides.  That night, I practiced my inversions on my bed so I could fall in any direction I wanted to.  I kept falling to my right, so on day 3, I secured a spot in a corner so nobody could be on my right side… but there were no inversion exercises on day 3!
On day 4, I managed my first headstand on the floor against a wall (at my favorite corner), but there was no time to relish this success before being told off to stay away from the wall.  I worked on my dolphin push ups at home to strengthen my shoulders.
Fast forward to day 8, I was pointed out that my left leg is weaker which is why I have problems keeping my thighs together in the air.  So I paid special attention to my left thighs during my Virabhadrasanas on the left side.  On day 11, with the help of the wall, I managed to stay for 3 seconds in the air.
On day 14, with the help of the wall, I managed to stay for 10 seconds in the air.  Afterwards, we got a chance to practice our headstands in the garden. I don’t know how many times I rolled on my back, but I still could not hold my headstand without a wall. I pulled a muscle in my neck and bruised my right middle finger from all the falling, but I told myself I’ll get them checked after the course finishes.
On day 18, I tried my first ever tripod during Rhea’s intermediate lesson plan.  I was afraid to do the tripod because of my bad neck, but to my surprise, I managed a tripod headstand on my first try even without the wall.  This gave me confidence with my headstand as well, and after a 12 hour yoga session on day 20 with my friends at Chijmes after class, I managed my first 18 second headstand without the wall.
During my 18 second headstand, I got 4 mosquito bites. I had been getting 7-8 mosquito bites every night during my second week of class – especially on my upper arms and thighs – so I did a bit of research.  It turns out mosquito attractions are 80% genetic, but for the rest of it, they are attracted to the smell of carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and potassium.  There was very little I could do about it (since it is apparently mostly genetic), but it made sense why I was having more bites than ever before.  I had been slicing bananas into my peanut butter sandwiches everyday, so I changed my fruit intake to apples and oranges to balance my diet.  Just a tip if anybody suffers from mosquito bites during the course 😉
Naho Udagawa – 200hr YTTC weekday

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