Happy Yogaversary to Me!!

The last time I blogged about yoga I was broken. That was a rough two-ish weeks. I didn’t write about it all during that time because I could feel myself slipping into a bit of a depression and I knew that if I wrote about it it wouldn’t be good. There was even one day when I thought I would never bend over again. It was that bad. I’ll sum up… (edit: once i started I couldn’t stop. So if you want to just read about the title, skip down some)

I broke myself by sitting. I kept joking, “Remember that time I broke my butt by sitting on it?” For real. I had a muscle spasm in my muscles surrounding my tailbone. On a Friday night, I watched a bunch of movies and sat with my butt sunk down into my couch for hours. I woke up the next morning sore but not worried. By Monday I couldn’t bend forward at all. By Wednesday I couldn’t sit. I trained myself to squat down to do everything. On top of that I had a cough and was sneezing. Let me tell you this… sneezing and coughing with a muscle spasm is the absolute worst shit ever. I don’t wish that on anyone. It’s crippling. I had to hold onto a wall or else my knees would buckle and I’d fall on the floor. I’m not exaggerating. I went to the ER Thursday and was put on pain meds, steroids, and a muscle relaxer. They said it was both good and bad that I was a healthy and active person. Good because I would recover just fine. Bad because I would have to rest. HA! Being a mom and wife, I don’t know what rest is. By the next Monday, I really didn’t think I was going to get any better. So I doped myself up on the pain meds and prescribed myself bed rest. I basically slept for two days. And I felt a little bit better. I could at least sit down to pee without dying. But it wouldn’t be until that Friday that I could do some sort of yoga again. It was devastating. Like I said, I was getting depressed. But Friday came, and by accident I bent forward. But it didn’t hurt. Hallelujah!!

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I posted that photo to my Instagram talking about how this was the one thing that was keeping me from doing what I loved. And although I wasn’t 100% healed, my soul was on the mend.

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I posted the above photo to show me bending forward again. It’s funny because I have seen people post photos like this one and I always thought, “Why?” And then I folded forward and it hit me. Now I understand. This was something I could not do while I was broken. And this meant I was back.

Not doing any sort of exercise for 2 weeks really weakened me. There are still, now almost a month later, several things in yoga I cannot do. I try, and then my back reminds me that it isn’t quite healed yet. It’s weird. One thing I lost was pincha. I lost the strength. But I was determined to get it back.  And then I did.

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At this point I’d say I’m 90% back to normal. At least I can teach again… which brings me to the main idea of this blog post.

Today, one year ago, I taught my first yoga class!! Happy Yoga-versary to Me!!!

I never knew I would be a yoga teacher. That was never ever in my mind. Then one day during a class, the instructor said she would need a sub at some point. I asked if there were any qualifications needed, and she said, “Nope, just yoga knowledge.” So I volunteered to be her sub. In the weeks leading up to it I was nervous because I had never taught yoga. But the day came and it was awesome! Flash forward to now, I teach a beginner/chair yoga class every Tuesday and teach regular yoga every other Thursday. I also teach a Saturday class once in a while.

Last Saturday I had 7 people in my class! And a guy! That was a first! It was sooooo amazing! The fact that I can share yoga with people brings me so much joy! But right behind that, these people are coming to class because I teach it. They keep coming back because I’m there. And then they bring more people!! They’re telling more people to come to MY class. Man, that is a cool feeling.

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We cancelled Tuesday’s class this week because there was a special program at the community center, but one lady said she was going to try my Thursday class instead. One lady said she’d come, but she bought 3 others. And those are my beginner ladies coming to my other class. Gah!! I cannot explain how awesome this is! And it makes me soooooo incredibly proud of these ladies for going way out of their comfort zone when they come to my class.

Like I’ve said before, I never ever saw this road coming on my journey I call life. Yoga Road detoured me when I needed it, not even knowing I needed it. And then Teacher Avenue appeared out of nowhere but I took that road without even thinking about it. Life is weird. Life is crazy. And I’m having a ball!!

So what’s next in the yoga journey for me? Online teaching! A TON, like literally a good 10 people have asked me to teach online. I have always been hesitant because of data issues (we live in the middle of nowhere). But, the stars have aligned and Verizon is now offering unlimited data again. So…..March 1st I will video chat with a friend and for the first time I will teach via internet! I am also thinking of making cd’s with videos but I haven’t started that yet. How weird right? To go from student to exercise video host? LOL!!! Again, life is weird.

I’ll end with this photo of me doing pincha in my jeans from last week. Happy Saturday!

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I’m Broken. #NamasteTuesday

My back is injured. This has seriously got to be one of the stupidest, most embarrassing injuries ever. I didn’t have bad form during a workout. I didn’t bend too far during yoga. I didn’t fall. I hurt my lower back from being a lazy ass and lounging on the couch. I am not joking.

About a month ago we bought a new couch. It’s one of those that has the chaise on one side. This last weekend my daughter had a birthday party and I spent quite a lot of time watching movies while she and her little friends stayed up all night. I wasn’t always laying on the chaise. A lot of the time I was sitting and the spot I chose to sit in made my butt kinda sink down into the couch. Imagine my body in a little bit of a V shape. Just enough to cause strain on my lower back. Only problem is that I had no idea I was injuring myself until it was too late.

Let me tell you, this is no laughing matter. I cannot do normal stuff. I can’t bend forward, I have to squat. I can’t lean at all. You should see me trying to go to the bathroom; I have to sort of lean to the side and lift my feet up just so that I can reach my underwear. In the shower I have to have one hand on the wall to hold me up while I try to reach down to dry off. If there was any one thing worse than all this… I can’t do yoga. This could possibly be the most frustrating thing ever and it’s totally driving me crazy.

I think what is frustrating me the most is that yoga SHOULD be something I can do to stretch out and heal myself. But I think I did something to my bones not my muscles. I try so hard to breathe and fold a little deeper but I get to a certain point and I can’t breathe anymore because I am in pain. I can’t reach down to touch my toes, and if I do try to slowly make my way down, I have to squat and put my hands on my knees to get back up. Basically, I cannot use my back. It’s really terrible.

So why am I telling you all this? One, I am just being real and venting a bit. But second, I am telling you because it’s important to know how critical posture is to your everyday well being. If I had just sat up straight, or even decided to lie down, this post would not be titled “I’m Broken” and I wouldn’t be mad that I can’t do yoga. My advice to you today….sit up straight, stretch, be active. Enjoy yourself but don’t get too lazy.

Ugh, enough bad crap. Here’s some good yoga stuff.
First, I got a new tapestry in the mail yesterday for my yoga room. This will surprise you…doing that backbend didn’t hurt one bit.

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You guys know I was doing a pincha instagram challenge this month. It was so much fun. I learned all kinds of things and tried sooooo many new things. I have a ton of new goals to work towards this year. Below is me doing the splits while inverted (with a Georgie cameo). I need to work on my splits while sitting. I actually had a dream last night about being able to do the splits.

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This was my favorite from the challenge. The last day’s pose was “yogi’s choice” and I chose scorpion. I tried a number of times to get it where I wanted but I just wasn’t satisfied. I read a post from one of the hosts that said, “Give it all you got today.” That was all I needed. I switched to the front-facing camera so that I could see myself and BOOM! Best scorpion ever!!

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I even felt a little piece of my hair on my toe.

And just to connect this with the title…how did this not break me but my effing couch did? GAH! Can you tell I’m frustrated?

Tonight I teach my chair yoga class but I think it will be a lot more talking and a lot less actual yoga. I’m thinking also that tonight will be the last time we do our regular routine. I have been sticking with the same routine each week to get everyone comfortable with yoga, most are newbies, but I think it’s time to add in more stuff. I think it’s getting close to the time where we may be able to stop using the chair as an actual chair and more of just a crutch. We shall see.

Happy Tuesday!!

Aspire to Inspire #NamasteTuesday

A couple days ago in my health support group, a friend posted a fill in the blank status that said, “I am inspired by________. I aspire to__________.” The answer came to me easily…

I am inspired by other yogis and their journeys. I aspire to be as inspiring.

I think I am in the right track. I get so much positive feedback from my IG posts and the people that come to my yoga classes. I am also getting a bunch of friends and family members asking me how to get started with yoga. They all tell me that I inspire them to get started and that I am very encouraging. And that all makes me so happy. Seeing other people discover the beauty of yoga is inspiring!

I got this message from my cousin last week…

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The Mexican angry is the best part! One, I totally get that, and two, it’s such a yoga thing to become less reactive. I continued the conversation telling her about a recent Facebook post I commented on and how not reacting was something I was so proud of. The post was political and while everyone else stomped on me and told me how wrong I was, I stood my ground while being positive and never getting mad or speaking down to the other commenters. A couple years ago I would have started a “Facebook War” and definitely would have gotten Mexican angry. I eventually left the conversation quietly because I “let things go.” That really made some of the commenters mad, lol.

My most favorite philosophy in yoga is “Practice make progress.” I love to teach that idea to others. I love when people tell me that they can see differences in their balance, posture, poses, and mood. That all comes from practice. Here’s one of my most recent progress posts.

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The bottom photo was a neat morning. I was just doing my yoga thing, not planning to practice kapotasana (full pigeon), but it happened in my flow and it felt right.

I am doing another IG challenge. This one is called #PinchaQueens. A couple weeks full of all kinds of forearm stand prep and actual pincha. Today is pincha with bow and arrow legs.

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A couple days ago was pincha with a prop. Most people used a yoga wheel but since I didn’t have one I decided this was a great time to do some yoga with my chickens. (Watch my video here or check the side bar for the video on my IG.) It was a great morning. I tried so many times to get a good take but my balance was way off and Hagrid was just over it. The video was around take 5 and it still didn’t work. Hagrid was a great sport though so she got lots of cuddles.

That evening my daughter found my farmer Barbie and said, “Look, mom. I made you!” She is really my number one fan with yoga stuff. She makes fun of me and likes to tell me I’m showing off, but I know one day she’ll understand it all.

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While so much of my yoga is for me, I do hope to continue to teach others and inspire. It really does bring my happiness.


 

West Coast Yoga #NamasteTuesday

Welcome back to your weekly update of all things yoga…well, all things about me and yoga. I was getting ready to go to California two weeks ago and then I just took last week off from blogging, so now I’m back and getting back into the weekly routine.

I was so happy to get the chance to go to Core Power Yoga while I was in San Diego. I checked in on Facebook and said, “I’m Home.” It was such a great hour. The guide that day was a bit advanced and it was awesome. I did a few new things I’ve never even attempted before. The first new thing was trying to bind during triangle. It takes me so long just to figure out where I’m supposed to put my arms. Then from bound triangle she went into Bird Of Paradise. This is a standing, bound pose and it was definitely difficult. Advanced people have one leg completely straight up in the air but I was lucky to just get that leg up off the ground while trying to stand up straight. As usual, I could get it on one side and not the other. Same with the other binds…more shoulder work is in my future. I left Core Power feeling awesome and ready to tackle whatever else was headed my way. That place just makes me feel amazing.

The same day I went to Core Power I headed to the beach with my husband to eat lunch with his sister. We had some time to kill so we walked along Coronado and enjoyed the warm day on the beach. Of course I had to do some yoga.

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And of course I fell for my husbands tricks. You’d think after being around him for almost 17 years I would have figured this out already, but I always fall for it. I was holding my pigeon and I asked if the photo was taken yet. He says, “Just one more second.” And then the wave came, while he was taking a video. See the video here. It’s fun, I promise.

The main reason we were in California was a wedding. All three of us (husband, child, and I) were in the wedding so it was kind of a big deal. The wedding was beautiful!! And I did some bridesmaid yoga of course.

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Once I was back from California it was back to the usual daily stuff. This last Saturday I took my daughter and some friends to a pumpkin patch. What better to celebrate than with a forearm stand!!

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This worked out perfectly because back in the winter, I took a photo of me doing pincha in the snow. Once spring rolled around I decided I should do a stand in each season. I waited until I was at the beach for my summer one, and then I did the fall one at the pumpkin patch. Here’s all of them together.

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I’m trying to decide on a new pose for this next year. I am not sure if I want to do more inversions or something different. Maybe I will do something I am not so good at to see how I progress throughout the year. I’m open to suggestions.

The other yoga teacher, at the community center, and I have been talking about ways to get more people interested in the yoga classes we teach. A lot of the community are older folks so the next couple weeks I am going to brush up on some chair yoga. Starting in November my Tuesday class is going to be very, very beginner class. We are going to start with the very basics of yoga and touch on some chair yoga. I’m excited. There are already a few people who have said they want to try it. I still think people are scared of yoga so I am going to try my hardest to make them unscared.

This weekend I’m starting another Instagram challenge. It’s #BentYogis2!! A sequel to the one I did about a month ago. I’m super excited! I’ll update you on that as it progresses. But make sure to follow me and watch along the way. @chrissyq02

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