Triumph

Not too long ago, I received an email from my student Cheryl.  She writes (with her permission):

“When I went to yoga today…

At the last minute I decided to try a different class, with a different teacher, in a different room…

I felt like, and thought I was too weak from no-yoga for almost a month…

My legs felt sore and tired from running a few miles yesterday without stretching…

Many muscles in my body quivered and sweat soaked my attention as I persevered with the flow…

When presented with two versions of this tricky pose, I chose adventure…

I started slowly and cautiously, only listening to instruction and my breath…

With the thrill of a roller coaster peaking, I advanced farther and higher…

A rush of amazement tickled me into a giant smile as I came into full bloom…

The infectious energy of encouragement from everyone in class helped to fortify me…

My dormant inner strength woke me up and reminded me to not give up, even when I feel discouraged…

I learned that there are wonderful surprises that will find me when I am not afraid to be open, and dare to play…”

image: http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2149

Cheryl is describing her journey into visvamitrasana.  It is the ultimate balance of strength and surrender, a cummulation of Utthita Parsvakonasana, Utthita Trikonasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana, Bird of Paradise, Vasisthasana, Parvritta Janusirsasana

Could you see how it was like a roller coaster ride?

I don’t come across too many students who are open and willing to come into this pose… myself included.  Willing?  Yes!  Open? Some days not quite as my hamstrings would not agree. 

I’m sharing Cheryl’s triumph not to boost her ego more, but it is a great example of what triumph in your practice should be like…. it’s about sharing and not clinging to the end result that you achieved in that moment.  At that time Cheryl didn’t know what this pose was called and seeked my help to track it down.  Small victories in one’s practice leads to bigger transformation not only in the body but in the mind.  I applaud Cheryl for sharing her beautiful experience, for reaching out to grow and learn even more, and mostly for her courage to let go and explore.

As for me, I had a small moment of victory this morning.   Getting up early and having breakfast was indeed a victory, but after that as I was going to wash up before leaving the house, stepped out of the restroom and was greeted by a knarly spider who was facing in my direction.   Where the hell did he come from?!  He surely wasn’t there when I stepped into the restroom.  My usual reaction would’ve been, “AAAAAHHHHH, grab the nearest thing and SMACK!”  But instead, I reached behind him for a cup and covered him.   Then thought about how I was gonna get him outside.  Grabbed a sheet of cardstock and slid it under the cup, and tried to flip it over.   Of course, my hands were trembling so during the flip over, the cup fell in the sink and he was slipping and sliding in the sink.  I could’ve washed him down the sink.  But I talked myself into holding the cup so he crawled inside.  This time, I held the cup steady and rushed to the back yard and dumped him over the fence into the neighbor’s yard.  For a moment I thought… “what if he finds his way back?”   “GAAAAHHHH”

*shiver*shiver*

Thank goodness he was not a jumping spider!!!!  I did say small victory 🙂  One spider at a time!

8 thoughts on “Triumph

  1. here’s what I love about you : you have a post about bravery and visvamitrasana AND a spider. both equally terrifying, both equally not. so good!

    now can you post a step by step of how to get here b/c I cannot figure it out!

  2. Good Job Cheryl! I always refer to this pose as Fish Vomit asana to remember the Sanskrit and as a reflection of the looks I get when I try to teach it:)

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