The gift of yoga

I recently wrote a post about being frustrated with yoga. Frustrated with how I had learned things and how the more I learn I am finding more than one way to do something.

That bothered me for a few days and, of course, I wrote about it.

Soon after I started feeling better about my frustrations and discoveries and realized that this is actually a gift and I started to embrace it.

As my friend Nicole so eloquently put it: Isn’t that the gift of yoga – that we get to work through all that junk. (Junk being life, yoga poses, breathing, tough situations, daily activities, work, home life, getting to yoga class on time or at all, etc.)

I recently started practicing yoga with another teacher who is also part of the teacher training program. For years I have known about his reputation as a yoga teacher. I just hadn’t studied with him yet.

Until now.

I am seeing things so differently studying with Richard. It’s amazing.

And don’t get me wrong, my teachers are amazing and awesome and I love yoga so much because of them. But sometimes hearing a different teacher say the same thing in a … Continue reading

A yoga breakthrough

Last night in yoga teacher training class Richard taught us about inversions and teaching beginners inversions.

At one point we practiced Salamba Sirsasana (Headstand) against the wall. (Which is not a beginner pose.)

I prepared myself to go into the pose. But I didn’t invert like most of the class did.

I have been practicing yoga for about six years and have never felt comfortable completely inverting. Frankly, I am scared. Sacred that I am gonna hurt myself, scared that I am gonna topple over, scared that my bum shoulder is gonna give out, scared that I am gonna break my neck.

As we were discussing the pose I told Richard that I did not go up because I am scared. He asked me what I am scared of. I told him pretty much everything in the paragraph above. He asked me if I would be willing to try something and he wouldn’t make me do anything I didn’t want to.

He asked me to go to the corner. I used the corner to support my hands and shoulders. And I almost got up. My fellow students cheered for me. Many told me how close I was. They were … Continue reading

Do you trust yourself?

Tonight in yoga the theme was trust.

There are poses in yoga I don’t trust myself in. Like headstand and handstand.

Years ago one of my yoga teachers told me she thought I was ready to try one of them. And I just didn’t feel ready. And years later I still don’t.

I don’t feel like my arms are strong enough. My core could use some work on being stronger. I don’t trust (there’s that word) my funky shoulder. And frankly, those poses scare me.

(And I have been practicing yoga for about five years.)

Tonight the whole class was a preparation for crane pose, Bakasana.

I trust myself in in this pose. I am OK falling over or not being able to get both of my legs off the floor. But the part I struggle with is really holding my core strong and up.

It is easy to forget that the core and its strength is just as if not more important than the strength of the arms.

Vickie prepared us all class for crane pose. Once we were ready she broke down the pose and had us slowly work into it.

Breaking down a challenging … Continue reading