Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just keep trying!

I'm kind of obsessed with all things yoga.  I've been practicing religiously for the past year and have been aware of the practice for over 15 years.  This means, I knew the basics but would hardly consider myself a yogi.  In the past year I have taken my down-dog to new levels and raised the bar as far as challenging myself.

Assisted Peacock Pose
Last night I found myself sitting in a room of other yogi's ready for a two-hour advanced class entitled 'Inversions and Arm Balances'.  Inversions, if you don't know, defy gravity.  Your body is off the ground using your muscles, only.  We all actually paid money to torture ourselves!  I had been extremely excited when this workshop presented itself a few weeks ago.  I had been tooting my horn (a little too loudly) at my new found strength and abilities.  I walked into a dimly lit room armed with my yoga gear ready for a challenge.

Our instructor was a young, petite powerhouse with zero body fat and killer guns.  Immediately, fear struck me.  OH DEAR GOD, HELP!!!  She instructed all eight of us to sit in a comfortable seated position and suddenly I wanted to bolt.  I was not concentrating on my naval, I was so fixated on the fact that I did not have her killer body and therefore would not be able to do what she instructed.  Nonetheless, I was about to take the plunge and perhaps it would be nothing short of an epic failure.  I was more concerned about my ego rather than snapping my neck.  Every yogi will tell you to check your ego at the door because that's "not what yoga is about".  Alright, whatever.  We all know we're checking out the competition whether it's in the rule book or not.

The class began and I threw caution to the wind.  The people in this class were amazing!  And so was I, for at least trying and not letting fear overcome me!  No matter what our bodies would allow us to do, we all tried whatever zero-fat chick threw at us.  I've included some of the poses she demonstrated and we attempted...well, I attempted.

Side Crow


Fun with a tri-pod head stand 
Tri-pod head stand prep

Playing around on your head

Compass Pose - easier than it looks

Fun with partners

Bridge Pose 
Extended side crow

I will be honest and admit I am not able to do them all.  If I attempt some of these, I can barely hold the pose for more than a breath.  The point of all this craziness?  It's a challenge that I took head on, quite literally.  I have fallen.  We have all fallen.  Our instructor admitted her challenges and encouraged us to keep trying.  I had a bit of a moment at the end.  I was absolutely exhausted, but I kept trying.  My shoulders hurt, my arms were shaking and I thought my abs were going to fail for sure.  But I kept pushing my limits.  What I was able to achieve was a sense of accomplishment.

At 33 years old and after only one year of really committing myself full-time to improving my strength, I completed a master class.  I never would have dreamed of not only signing up for this, but paying for it!!  I ran a 5K last November and now I get a thrill when it's time to stand on my head...unassisted.  Who knew???


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