Over the years yoga has been in my life. At my heaviest (200+ pounds) I did yoga. Granted I hid at the back of the class but I did yoga. At the very beginning I remember how hard just going through Sun Salutation A was. I huffed and I puffed. Holding Downward Facing Dog was nearly impossible. However, there was this feeling I had after every yoga class that I just couldn’t shake. It’s magical.
Right before my divorce in 2005 I hit my first Sirsasana or headstand. It was an early Sunday morning class in Annapolis. We were given time to practice flying. When I actually got up into it I squealed and then promptly hit the floor. I remember it like it was yesterday that is how profound it was. Balance and flying poses are always a tell. The more out of emotional balance you are the more challenging (if not impossible) they are. I never hit another one.
Over the last year or so I found an organization called Vetoga. They are an organization created by a former Marine who wanted to share yoga with the veteran community as a way to deal with stress, PTSD, and other anxieties. There is something profound about being in a room of people who regardless of service, age or gender are family even if you’ve never met them before.
Then this past summer during a WOD at CrossFit Park City they had us attempting headstands as a precursor to handstand pushups. From the CrossFit perspective it’s simple: you use your core and you should be able to pop right up into a headstand. Now as a practitioner of yoga I know better. It is not as simple as core strength then pop up. In order to obtain a headstand you have to have inner peace. Sure, core strength is part of it, but without the inner peace, even momentarily, you will never fly. Since 2005, I had tried headstand many times, often met with me slamming to the floor in the most ungraceful like thud. With all of the mountains and clearing of my mind I had had over the summer I figured why not try a headstand. This was as far as I got, but hey it was progress over the previous 12 years. While it is not a true Sirsasana which is suppose to be done on forearms, it was still much closer.
A few days ago at Trident CrossFit I was feeling much less pressure. My internship was over, the paper was almost complete, and a host of other things in my life had fallen into place. There are still stressors, but I am mentally at peace with the major decisions I have made. I decided to give it another try. What’s the worst that could happen? Sure, I could fall on my face, but I’ve done that plenty in my lifetime. Then this happened. Again, I’m not on my forearms, but I’m up and I held it. This is the truest sign I can have that the path that I have chosen is the right path.
What path is that? I have decided to go through the Vetoga teacher training. I have wanted to go through teacher training for many years, but the time was just never right. Despite being in grad school, despite the stresses from work, despite every reason in the world why I shouldn’t do this, this just feels like the right time. I don’t handle change well (I know that this comes as a surprise) so the fact that I made this major decision and I am at peace with it means I am on the right path.
I’m very much looking forward to the learning process. Most of all, though, I’m looking forward to helping others find their moment to fly. It truly is glorious.
If you want to help me reach my goal, click here, and donate to my teacher training.