Getting Upside Down for a New Perspective


The last time I went through a tough time, I don’t want to say it was just yoga that pulled me out, but it sure as hell didn’t hurt.

Listening to the Rules of Inheritance again (hands down the best grief book I’ve read), I’ve heard about how Claire used yoga as a tool in her own grief journey. (Related: I’m working on a post on grief resources — any questions/anything you’d want me to include? Here’s what’s on my grief page now.)

I’m a runner, so basically from my hips down are pretty tight…um, always? So even if yoga isn’t a magic balm for my soul, it certainly helps my body. Except when I try too hard to get into my fave, ardha chandrasana, and I end up with a sore groin. (Man, 35 is sexy.)

So I’ve been trying to roll out my mat more and sit (or, warrior II, whatever) with those tough feelings. In yoga, I can tell myself “it’s just a thought” and let it go in a way I can’t anywhere else.

The other day, I found myself looking for that peace, and I walked my butt over to Yogamaya. Despite having done yoga on and off for years, I’ve been afraid to take an L2 (level 2) class. Would everyone be better than me? Would I fall out of poses? (The answer to that, always, will probably be yes.)

I’ll be totally honest: I was pretty bored by the beginning of the class and wondered when it would get good, when I would have that magical moment of everything clicking and feeling totally within the flow.

“OK, let’s bring our mats over to the wall.”

OH. What were we going to do?!

The instructor had us work on headstands with the wall there for safety. It was such a gentle approach, a far cry from a lot of studios that let the advanced do their inversions while you skulk into child’s pose, waiting for that portion of the class to be over. This video is similar to how we began, except we didn’t have blocks like that (though I’d like that!)

I put my head down, eager to try the pose in this supported way.

THWACK! went my legs against the wall. Thank god for the wall.

I came down and tried again, and again. After several tries, I was able to hold the pose for maybe a second or so…and I count that as a victory.

As we finally brought our mats back to our spots, I put mine down with new energy and vigor, amazed by the power of yoga inversions to give me a new perspective through a physical one.

Is there something physical that helped you gain a new emotional perspective?

ALSO! I’m starting a podcast. Let me know what you want to hear about! The topic of the show will be pretty broad, so bring it on ( + guest ideas!)