This Is Easy And It's Not Going To Hurt


This Is Easy And It’s Not Going To Hurt


Last week I blogged about having neck surgery and how incredibly humbling it was. This week I thought I’d share my yoga journey following recovery. Like most real yoga journeys, it’s not pretty or glamorous, it’s ugly and frustrating like it should be ;)

I had two months of physical therapy after being able to finally remove the neck brace and then I was ready to get back to practicing yoga because I missed it so much! I was a new yogi when I had surgery, so I didn’t know that I actually could have done some yoga poses while I was in the neck brace that would’ve helped me. Once I realized that, I was pretty bummed but it doesn’t make any sense to dwell on it and I have since moved on.


The first year after surgery, I was scared for most of it. I’m glad that I was gentle with myself but it would have been nice if I was actually giving myself grace instead of letting my past injury define me as broken or incapable.

The second year after surgery, I was feeling frustrated with feeling weak and broken and I decided I should stop being a wimp and learn how to do a handstand.


There are several reasons this could have been a terrible idea. For starters, I had never in my entire life, done a handstand before. I literally had no idea how to do it. I also could have been a little kinder to myself and slowly worked through my emotions instead of throwing myself into a physical feat that could potentially be unsafe.

I did some research and got to work and decided a good place to start was to use the wall as a safety net. This was a super slow process, like glacially slow. Not because of lack of strength but because of lack of confidence from so much fear. I thought I was going to hurt myself. I kept picturing myself falling on my head and my neck breaking.


I got my husband to help me. Then I moved onto a chair as my next security blanket. I basically tried everything to make the distance from getting my feet to touch the wall seem shorter and safer, except for working on my self-confidence.

I was at my old job and I remember thinking “this won’t hurt, the cubicles are much softer than the wall” and then jumped into a handstand for the first time ever with no props or people assisting me. I almost fell out of it because I was so shocked it actually worked out. I literally couldn’t believe how easy it felt. I sat with the realization that because I believed it wasn’t going to hurt, I was able to do it. That was a huge life lesson.

I started to notice that I showed up how my mind was showing up. If I believed I was too tired to handstand then I couldn’t do it. If I believed I was strong enough, I could do it. .

Now on my mat and off, when I feel the doubt creeping in, I whisper to myself “this is easy and it’s not going to hurt,” and then I pick my head up and get to work.


Can you imagine all of the things we could do if we believed in ourselves more?

Images by Personal Branding Maven  Elise Kutt  at  Mod Bettie Portraits

Images by Personal Branding Maven Elise Kutt at Mod Bettie Portraits

My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.

I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.

My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.

Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Travel Designer