Nov 9, 2013


it takes so much discipline to maintain a strong practice through life's various dramas, especially when you're a wanderer, with no solid community to depend on for support; no studio, no accountability in the form of a teacher or friends.  lately, especially after being injured, i've been going through the motions more often than not.  i've been hanging in there, but my hearts not really in it.   all the things that come with that; sluggishness, restlessness, weakness, distraction, have started to creep in.  i had a teacher who used to say, "come to yoga everyday, skip a day, skip two -fine but then come back.  after two days off your matt, the wheels start to fall off."  i don't think my wheels have fallen off yet.... but they're definitely losing air.

one of the most discouraging things about my neck/shoulder injury is the effect it had on my backbends.  i love backbends.  they are probably my favorite thing to do.  some people like inverting, some people love arm balances, some people prefer savasana; i love bending backwards.  my injury was an old one, it had more to do with years of improper alignment in day to day life than any one event that inflamed it.  because of how i've been (incorrectly) carrying my shoulder and the efforts i've been making to correct that i couldn't put myself in that familiar position without pain and stiffness.   i've been working on it, working on it, feeling it out, but it's hard.  i've realized that for years, because of my shoulder placement i haven't been doing backbends with correct form - they might have even been what inflamed this stupid injury - what a fucking downer.

enter sedona, land of the vortex.  if you don't know about the sedona vortex's i am certainly not going to explain the phenom.  i'll sound like a crazy person.  (click here for more info and a map)   one thing i can say without a doubt; it's amazingly beautiful there.  i've started this yoga a day challenge on instagram (more on that later) and regardless of the vortex situation i was super stoked to have such an amazing backdrop to take photos in. the pose of the day was one of my absolute favorites, a deep deep backbend; urdhva dhanurasana, or upward facing bow pose, which made me excited ... and nervous.

i had this amazing moment when i went into my first one, in the red sand at the beginning of our hike.  i don't know if it was the vortex or all the hard work and care i've been putting into my form; it was a little harder than usual, but i immediately went deeper and felt stronger than ever before.  this feeling just increased with every subsequent backbend.  it was amazing!  my whole form felt different, felt heroic!  i felt like i could just keep going deeper and deeper.  my heart was literally singing as i ran around the desert doing backbends in vortex locations all day long.  zoom! urdhva dhanurasana on a giant rock!  zing!  urdhva dhanurasana on the edge of a cliff. yay! urdhva dhanurasana in front of the cathedral rock vortex.  etc. etc. etc.  

with every backbend i felt my energy level raise a whole octave.  fuck the wheels falling off, by the end of this day i was flying.

it felt good, felt amazing, to know that all that discouragement and meticulous, frustrating work on my form had been worth it.  through injury i'd become stronger, better than before and i felt like i understood something about challenge that i keep learning and learning over and over; that it's necessary, as necessary as everyone forever has always said. you need it to get stronger.

namaste bitches, xx

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