If you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen some rather exciting news on Saturday. But I’m gonna hold off on talking about it for now, although, if you don’t follow me on Twitter, now’s a good incentive to start.
On Saturday, my lovely yoga instructor Jessica announced before the start of class that today she would be throwing in some poses from Ashtanga’s second series. Just, y’know, because she could.
I love her. I do. But, sometimes I just really wanna kind of kill her. But not really. It’s, just, y’know, when she’s standing behind me, lifting my hips in Down Dog and my leg muscles are screaming, I briefly forget that the pain is a good thing. Then again, with something like Butterfly, I’ll bend into it and sigh with a silent ahhhhhhhhh at the stretch through my inner thighs.
(At class, we pretty much all decided that you have to enjoy a little pain to be an Ashtangi. Considering I’ve always been a bit of a masochist, my love for this practice suddenly made sense.)
Now, hello, we’re in the Primary series, so she’s not going to be adding in any really advanced poses. But, for whatever reason, our class was super small on Saturday and all of us are very comfortable with the Primary series, so she just wanted to challenge us a bit.
When it comes to yoga, I’m generally always up for a challenge. That’s what I like best about Ashtanga: we do the same series of poses with every class and it’s the perfect way to mark your progress. The poses I can’t do make for excellent non-scale goals and keep me motivated and always trying when I’m on my mat. Like, I can’t do Firefly. I can’t even come close to doing Firefly, but I refuse to wimp out and give up. I’ll get my arms under my legs and lean back and put my weight on my arms and, uh, well, that’s about as much as I can do right now. But, hey, it’s better than nothing and it’s what I do each time I’m on the mat and that’s good enough for me.
That being said, I thought I already knew what my body was capable of. And then I met Bow Pose.
I don’t know what it was about this pose, but as soon as I reached back and realized I was able to grab my ankles and lift my chest up — even just a little bit — I fell in love. Maybe it was just the fact that I could reach back and grab my ankles, because, uh, that would so not have been possible six months ago before I started practicing Ashtanga. Whatever the reason, there was just something about this pose that spoke to me. Reached down deep inside and felt, well, like home. Like I seriously could have stayed in that pose all day long.
Kind of like Wheel. Once I’m up in that pose, I don’t want to come down. And, sure, my Bow isn’t super high or flexible, but that’s not really the point, is it? The point is that each and every day, my body continues to surprise me. I have the luxury and rare opportunity of bearing witness to the beauty of the body and all that it is capable of.
Like, on Thursday there was a blood drive at the college where I work and while I didn’t donate (I’m one of those tattooed weirdos who hates needles), I asked if he would be willing to take my blood pressure. 120/80, to which he responded “Almost perfect!” Not too shabby for
215.4 213.2 seeing as how I lost another 2.2 lbs, bringing my total to 97.8!
I never would have imagined that one day I would be able to say that I am 2 pounds away from 100. Never would have ever crossed my mind, having failed at WW and countless other diet plans in the past. But here I am and believe me when I say I have no plans to turn back. Not when I’ve been launched into something great.
Love from the ashes,