They say that the practice of inversions is a mental game, steel your mind, hasten your resolve and you will see it happen. I feel that yoga, as with other sports (is yoga a sport?) involves a lot of psychology, it’s a mental game as much as it is physical, here’s what I’ve come to realise;
Mental resilience is key, and a lot of times the difference between successfully fighting to keep a pose or falling out of it hinges on simply believing if you can make it or not.
You go where you set your sights on – don’t look where you don’t want to go, look in a direction to deepen a twist, or drop your gaze to deepen that back bend, fixate on an object to be as stable as it is, through your gaze around to have your body flail to the ground..
Balance – Yoga is about balance, not just physical balance, but a balance between effort and ease, comfort and discomfort, pain or sensation. Being strong, it is easy for me to muscle my way into poses, but more often than not the most stability is found when I allow the body to find its own neutrality, and allowing itself to settle into a discomfort that is the most comfortable.
Detachment – Linked to the first part a bout yoga being a mind game. To progress, it is sometimes important to let go of specific ambitions, drives, or any focus on one particular asana, and instead move onto a holistic practice of yoga. And then come back to that asana and realise how much improvements you have achieved unintentionally. I will also end off on this – inversions require total concentration on balance, and in the practice of it, total detachment from any mental or emotional baggage is achieved, you gotta love inversions for this.