For a while I’ve been looking to shift how I felt about social media, mostly Instagram, my social media drug of choice. I kind of just wanted to say, “Eff it, what’s the best thing I could do on here right now to be real?” Something just for myself. Not carefully crafted images, something raw & vulnerable. Something different. So I decided for some reason to do my own challenge for the last month: jump from down dog into crow. If you aren’t familiar with it, YouTube it, it’s hard. It takes much upper body strength, core, & practice. It rarely looked like this:

This of a screenshot, a millisecond of a mostly sluggish & uncomfortable to look at process which for me involved a countless amount of drills. I’m not going to get into what I did each day, it’s all there on my Instagram account if you’re interested.

At first the idea of working on this for November was unicorn sparkly, I thought, maybe I could do this thing if I worked on it every day. Who knows. Plus this is gravy added to my regular lifestyle, I’m often working on handstands or forearm stands all day long anyways. I can say I don’t love crow pose. I can do it easily yes, but it has always felt unnatural for me. The hopping & floating part though? I’m all over it.

Over half way through the process I attempted a handstand away from the wall & actually held it for a long amount of time which was a pretty cool side effect. I also found some new creative flow, I found myself taking more of the “prettier” types of pictures with a fresh perspective. I wanted to post those pictures right away, to scratch that itch of vanity. As if to say, “Sure I fell on my face last frame! But look at this one! I’m so awesome.” Lol. Just being real.

I refrained. What’s wrong with real life for a little longer? I thought. I don’t have to hide what really goes on in my practice. The truth is that much of Instagram hides the blood, sweat, & tears that go into finally attaining that “perfect” picture. And usually those people putting in the time don’t really care about the perfect photos even if just like me they post them. They just love yoga. Straight up.

I went too hard for a couple of days & my trapezoid muscles seized up. I had to stop & rest. This is a big part of the practice of yoga too. People get injured, they need surgery sometimes. Rest is vital, just as much as work. I was lucky, my traps healed, I could continue. I have other injuries that haven’t healed & I don’t do certain things anymore. I’m okay with that.

And as far as attainment goes I did not jump into crow from down dog after just one month. I went into it knowing that would most probably be the case & that was part of the reason I did it. There is no destination. There’s just the journey. I’m at peace with that.

Last August I met someone I really liked. I’ve dated here & there since moving to Oregon, but nothing serious. I’ve long felt like I’ve needed more internal emotion rearrangement before I can really be in a healthy relationship & meeting this person was the catalyst for me showing up at my first CoDA meeting. I hit a bottom. I was desperate. I got on my knees & prayed after experiencing long familiar confusing emotions & fear. So much fear. At that moment I remembered a friend who was active in CoDA & I texted her. I was at the meeting the next day.

I can’t describe how much relief my newfound CoDA program has given me. Just like the first time I walked into AA, I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore & more than that these people were sharing actual tools that I could use in all my relationships. This is pretty remarkable stuff for someone who has felt like she has been flying blind for much of her life especially where romance is concerned. If you are struggling with the obsession over another person or relationships feel unmanageable, I highly recommend giving CoDA a try. You don’t have to suffer.

The work has been brutal. I’m in the midst of writing my first full historical 4th step in 9 years. All the shit since birth. 41 years of shit is a lot to go through. I write in in short bursts, I can’t handle any more than that. It’s way different than in AA. Deep & painful. I’ve cried a lot.

But I haven’t drank. And even though I haven’t been perfect & at times my feelings really do feel like they’re gonna kill me, I’ve shown up for my classes, my son, & to meetings. Even though it’s been hard, I’ve already learned so much which gives me so much hope for the future.

You don’t have to be who you used to be. Change is possible.

Wishing all the best out there to all of you. Living ain’t easy.


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!

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