I have been obsessed with inversions and arm balancing poses for the last two weeks thanks to these two.  They are a gravity defying yogi-couple and you can’t help but be inspired by them.  I’ve been hopping into hand stand, forearm standing and hand standing against the wall, and rocking forward to balance on my hands (there are no actual ‘holds’ in these poses just yet!).  A couple days in a row I literally kept walking from the living room to the dining room wall (that wall being the appointed yoga inversion wall of course) every half hour.  H giggled at the sight and there may have been some eye rolling as well.  It’s really hard to catch a baby at eye rolling.

I have fallen sideways and face planted often.  The crazy thing about yoga is that there is a high possibility that I may stick it eventually.  But I know that I have to have all these wonky attempts in order to nail the pose.  I can’t have that perfect one without all of the others.

I went back to work and was kneeling down, looking for a file.  I creaked my head to look down an inch and T W I S T.  Searing pain jolted through the back of my neck and down my shoulder and back, only through the left side.

Possibly too many hand stands.  Possibly too much time spent upside down.  My body just ain’t used to it yet!  The pain healed itself magically on the drive home that day, but I can still feel it.  Pain or no it feels good to be inspired.  Two weeks ago I hated hand stands.  Now they are a new adventure.  I’ve been doing more yoga on my own and in the studio as well.  Holding H feels as light as air.  Thanks yoga.

My early start to the blogging gig for yoga teacher training flipped itself sideways on me as well.  Simply put, one of the teachers who is guiding me through the process wrote me an email about what they are looking for.  It wasn’t mean or critical at all but it freaked me out.  Classically I immediately overcompensated.  I went to Starbucks and powered out three posts and emailed them to her.  I went home and sent her another idea.  Two days later I wrote another and sent it to her.  All the while I was absolutely certain she would hate all of it.  I became depressed.  I sat on the couch, netflixed, and ate too much of something after H slept.  I stopped writing.  I stopped doing yoga.

I’ve been sober for almost 7 years, this isn’t my first run at a short and temporary bout of depression.  It used to totally freak me out at first.  It was all I could do to stay sober.  Then, if it’s possible I became good at taking care of myself when I was depressed.  I developed that inner monologue.  I told myself to just get through today.  Tomorrow will be a new day.  I followed the whole, stay sober no matter what thing.  I told myself, I love you, even though I felt the complete opposite.

And it still gets me.  I am an alcoholic.  I used to use booze to make me feel better.  I can’t do that today, rather I choose to not to do that today.

I have changed.  It used to be all dark.  Now the lights only get shut off once in a while.  I can even be very Pollyanna-ish a lot of the time.  But there remains the spiraling darkness that swirls up and pulls me in.  I don’t believe in anything for a while.  Nothing makes sense.  I don’t like myself.  That is the core of it.  I don’t like myself and I can’t forgive or get over something that I’ve done.  I wish I could be as easy on myself as I am with my friends, H, or my family.  If H cries or gets upset I think that he just doesn’t understand something or he’s tired.  I’m not given this mercy.  I’m not allowed to have an ‘off’ day.

Show me a sign, I prayed to my Higher Power.  Show me a sign to know I’m on the right path with this blogging thing.  Kind of a contingency type of prayer, not one I say very often.

I found this blog right after I gave birth.  I have never really liked or read blogs before, I equated them all with mindless fluff like about fashion or recipes.  I don’t know how I stumbled upon this blog, but I’m so glad I did.  I read it during some hard moments right after H was born, and it was a real comfort to me.  The originator of the blog was having a comment contest.  I commented.  I won!  Was that my sign?  I don’t know but I’ll just say it is.  It definitely gave me a jolt of needed encouragement.  My winnings, the book, Steal Like an Artist:

IMG_0044 (2)

My teacher got back to me with a reassuring email and all of my anxieties popped like the frail, unsubstantial fancies that they were.  I feel like the writing thing will be hard and frustrating at times.  I hope it will be rewarding.  I will just have to take it like my sobriety, one day at a time.  Lessons learned (re-learned)?  Facts not feelings.  Acceptance is the answer here even if that means accepting myself as I am right now:

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation-some fact of my life -unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.

-BB page 417

My 7 years approaches.  I am nervous that I signed up to chair at the new meeting I attend.  I remember in the weeks right before I turned one, I rehearsed what I was going to say when I got my coin.  I’m doing the same thing with this meeting.  I want to sound humble and intelligent.  I want them to like me.  I try to remember that it’s all about the newcomer but my ego is super loud.  I want to sound, “cool.”  Cool in an AA meeting!  Pretty funny.  No matter what I say or how my ego gets involved it will keep me sober and on the right path.  Hopefully I can speak from my heart.

My first assignment is due this Thursday!  My first day of yoga school is this Thursday!  It’s beginning!  Evidence of my practice and studying below plus new entries in pink (my calender color) on our calender:




It’s *ahem* been a while since I’ve used a highlighter other than for work!
Yoga ready, freshly painted toes.

And other shenanigans, tooling around outside in the sun and rain, enjoying the Easter decorations at home, attempts to pilfer items in the refrigerator:











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H A P P Y  E A S T E R !!!

Published by Liz Brower

I've practiced yoga since 2006, I stumbled into a class at my local gym. I didn't really "get" yoga, I wanted to do all of the poses to the max, I didn't focus on breathing, and I was very competitive. A year later I quit smoking and my mom purchased a three month unlimited to a local studio. I fell in love with yoga! Plus the metaphor was strong, my lungs began to repair, I could take really deep inhales without coughing! I later began to go to a free outdoor yoga classes in downtown Long Beach, CA that was also affiliated with a donation based studio. Yoga was fun, affordable, accessible, and outside! I loved it. I started practicing at home by myself. I started meditating. Right after I found the classes at the gym stopped drinking alchohol. My sobriety and yoga have intertwined ever since. They compliment each other amazingly and I am so grateful for them both. I stopped practicing yoga after getting pregnant and being caught up with the taking care of a newborn in 2013/2014. When he was 9 months old I realized that I really wanted to redirect myself back to yoga. I also had the seed planted in my mind while driving home from Christmas break, why don't you go do a yoga teacher training?! I started practicing yoga at a local studio and began scouring the internet for a teacher training program. I found Three Sisters Yoga, a lovely program, based out of NY & PDX. I was more than motivated to teach, I started teaching some free yoga in the summer of 2015 at a local park. I continued after that with an internship at the same studio I had signed back up with at the beginning of the year. I quit my day job. I hit the pavement, scouring for yoga gigs that would hire a newbie. I found a job and began to teach! Now I am navigating the great balance of being a single mom, a yoga teacher, and doing my best to trust my higher power with my future. I love to teach and practice vinyasa, but also know what it's like to be drawn to slower types of yoga due to injury or body type. I feel a special affinity for yoga new comers and like to teach practice at all different levels. Thank you for taking time to read a little more about me and I wish all of you the best in your own individual yoga practice. ~Namaste!

2 thoughts on “UPSIDE DOWN

  1. Well said Liz, acceptance is the key! And your on the sweetest journey. Enjoy! Your going to be an awesome yoga teacher . Keep believing in yourself no matter what! Happy Easter! Give H a big bunny hug for me… Lots of love.

    Liked by 1 person

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