Taking My Practice Upside Down

20 Jun

I have only been teaching yoga now for a few months but I have been practicing it for over a decade.  I started practicing pre-natal yoga when I was pregnant with my first-born and he’s turning 11 next month, so you do the math.  I stopped practicing after he was born and focused more on the gym.  I went back to yoga less than two years later when I became pregnant with my daughter and again, practiced pre-natal yoga throughout my pregnancy, only to leave it behind once she was born.  I practiced on and off for many years but it wasn’t until about 4 years ago that yoga became a regular, consistent practice for me.  I have shifted from Moksha to Ashtanga to various forms of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga.  I love them all.  As you become a more experienced yogi, you begin to realize that there is so much more to learn.  There is no such thing as “mastering” a pose.  At least I don’t believe there is.  Just as there is no perfect human being, there is no perfect yoga pose.  And I am okay with that.  It just forces me to keep working harder and pushing myself further.

If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would be doing headstands and handstands at the good ol’ age of (almost) 40, I would have laughed in their face.  Shame on me for not giving myself enough credit and for not believing in myself.  Shame on me, that even just a year ago, looking on at other, more advanced yoga practitioners, I told myself there were poses I could never do.  How many times did my mother tell me “never say never”???  Why didn’t I believe her?  Cause you know what?  It’s so true!!!  I truly believe that even though there are MANY yoga poses I have not yet been able to accomplish, my motto now is that I haven’t done so only because I haven’t tried.  Time and time again, throughout my yoga journey, I have learned that with practice, things you once thought were not possible, are truly within reach.  It just takes a lot of determination, unbreakable motivation, a bit of time…and LOTS of consistent practice.

And here I am…still trying to improve my own personal practice while I begin my journey teaching others to learn how to do the same.  I recently took a few workshops to help with some of my more challenging poses and just wanted to share my accomplishments with you.  I am proud of myself and I don’t allow myself to admit that very often so here I am, opening myself up to you and sharing with you, how I have now, finally, after several attempts, been able to include inversions in my daily practice.  There is still room for improvement and just have someone take pictures or videos of you (as I had my daughter do for me – thank you Isabella 🙂 ) and you will see for yourself what adjustments need to be made.  Just when you think you have “mastered” a pose, you look at a picture or video and realize how much more work you need to do.  I thought of waiting until I “perfected” these poses before showing them to you and then thought some more about it and realized it’s better for me to share the journey with you and not just the final destination which is what I preach in my yoga classes so here’s practicing what I preach!!

Headstand Version 1
(Salamba Sirsasana)

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Headstand Version 2
(Sirsasana 2)

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Handstand
(Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

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And by far, for me, the most strength challenging arm balance pose…

Feathered Peacock Pose
(Pincha Mayurasana)

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So there it is folks, me and my upside down practice.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the feeling of being upside down?  It’s absolutely liberating and makes me feel so powerful.  I love feeling strong.

If any of you are interesting in creating more upper body strength, I am preparing to do a workshop one evening in the next few weeks focusing solely on upper body strength.  I will keep you posted with details!!!

Until next time,

Have a fit and fabulous day!

Lisa

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