Day Seventeen SFY Mindful May Challenge – #smile

day15-smileI’ve recently been teaching to more and more beginner yogis and I love when I ask them to smile during their struggle and their intense, scrunched up faces break into a laugh. There’s focus on breath (Prana), gaze (drishti) and the alignment in each pose (asana) but, I love to invite levity, light, and the ability to let yourself struggle, fall, get messy, and laugh…then start again with breath and intention.

Today I laughed at myself in this pose as I TRIED to get my foot in the crook of my elbow, then I looked at this photo feeling AMUSED at how much further I need to go in this pose. But, I can still remember when I couldn’t even reach my foot or balance at all in this pose, like some of my new students in today’s class.

So, I smiled because this pose feels so damn good for my hips, hip flexor, hamstring, and shoulder.  And, how I felt is really all that matters…not whether or not I can reach into the full expression of the pose.  Today, THIS was my full expression of this pose! I smiled because I was outdoors feeling the breeze on my skin. I smiled because Paco, my sweet yoga dog was nearby…again…waiting for me to toss him the frisbee. And, I smiled noticing how I’ve transformed from feeling frustrated with my body to really enjoying and accepting my body, as it is, taking every pose along the way in this beautiful lifelong yoga journey.

Of course, I’ll still imagine that my foot is going to hook into my elbow, and keep smiling on my way there. 😘

I see the hope in you, the hope in me, the hope in all things. Namaste 🙏
Love and laughter…Yogamama Meels

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