Day Sixteen SFY Mindful May Challenge – #patience Wheel Pose – Urdhva Dhanurasana

day16-wheel-IG It’s yoga practice, not yoga perfection.

Before my car accident almost two years ago I was FINALLY making progress in wheel.  It was always a challenge for me but, I was finally finding freedom and ease in this pose.  THEN…just after a seemingly minor fender bender, I found myself struggling in my practice, especially in child’s pose.  I was wincing with sharp pain just moving my left arm a teensiest bit in any direction.  Starting from a place of tightness already, my shoulder went from stiff to frozen…yes, the dreaded frozen shoulder.  And, almost two years later I’m amazed at how challenging it has been to get mobility into my shoulder joint capsule.  BUT!  I’m making progress!  I honestly questioned if I could ever do wheel again and in the last few months I’ve been able to attempt it without pain.  Still some stiffness but, no swearing or wincing.  So, I’m documenting my latest attempt, using my blocks and noticing how I can want to reach my heart closer to the wall and my head closer to my biceps. And, those feet! Yup, this yoga teacher knows those feet and hips need to rotate in towards my True North.  Patience…I know I need you but, sometimes you’re a royal pain in…the shoulder!  LOL

Love and laughter…Yogamama Meels

Day Fifteen SFY Mindful May Challenge – #inversions Getting upside down and facing fears

day15-handstandInspired by the inversions workshop I took yesterday with Patrick Beach and Carling Nicole, I worked on handstands today.  In this pic it’s obvious I need to work on my core but, my initial focus is just to get my hips over my shoulders, and using my hips to get up instead of my legs.  Getting upside down, facing my fears, and breathing in each messy, imperfect moment…on my journey to myself.

Getting messy and real… Yogamama Meels

Day Fourteen SFY Mindful May Challenge – #discovery Art of Inversions workshop with Patrick Beach and Carling Nicole (You and the Mat – Piedmont, Oakland, CA)

day14-workshop-IGDiscovered that I still have fears of getting upside down, especially in a class or workshop setting.  My body is strong and capable but, my ego seeks perfection and hates embarrassment and failure.  I thought I was done with worrying about what others think but, then those P words show up…Perfection and Pride…when I want to get upside down.  So, I’ll keep handstanding, and I keep frog-kicking my damn ego out of the way until I get upside down into freedom.  But, ego, I won’t totally kick you to the curb…with love and compassion, I just ask you to step aside so I can get on with transforming and transmorphing into the ME I am discovering wants to be messy and free.  Thank you Patrick and Carling for the awesome inversion workshop!

And, sharing this photo…wow, I almost didn’t do it.  Instead of noticing me sandwiched between two amazing yoga teachers I saw…my middle.  And, on top of that, the featured image in the header photo zeroes in, right on my beautiful, soft 50 year-old belly.  Oh, yay! (rolling eyes)  So, I posted it anyway, in all my glory.  I’m not fat but, I’m not skinny.  I don’t have the flat tummy of my youth but, with every day I’m learning what it means to stand in my own power…my peaceful power.  So, it’s all good.  Here, I am, me being me, rockin’ my softness, my powerful thunder thighs, my 5 foot and a nickel petiteness, all baby-got-back-booty, and my winning smile.  I’m discovering that I’ve been embarrassed to love myself, like it’s arrogant or boastful.  Without comparing myself to others, without better or worse, prettier or uglier, fatter or skinnier…I commit to loving myself just because this goddess-given body is a gift to celebrate and nurture.  I love this photo…of me. 🙂

Love, light, and gratitude… Yogamama Meels