Friend-spiration

I struggle.  With lots of random things, but especially with my voice in the world.  The last two days I have been going back and forth in my mind on the #followmeyoga format that I’ve been doing this week and posting online.

The idea was to share a different yoga pose everyday, January 1st through 30th, and then on the last day of the month, put them all together to create a full class that my readers can do at home.

On the one hand, I love my yoga practice and enjoy sharing anything that I love with everyone that I love.  When I began a yoga practice almost two years, I learned a ton from the teachers at the studio where I took classes, but I also learned quite a bit and found a lot of motivation from online “yogalebrities” who perform crazy, other-wordly poses and host monthly pose challenges for prizes and fame.

And there you have the other hand of my conundrum.  I want to be an inspiration and teacher and light for others.  I do not want to be a 41-year-old, selfie-obsessed, embarrassing mom who needs to LOG OFF.

So, I talked myself out of posting yesterday’s pose.  I convinced myself that for the few of you out there reading these daily posts, there are a myriad of online resources for you to learn yoga.  I told myself that my little addition to the yoga world will never be missed.  I decided to remove myself from the wide world of yoga.

And then I enjoyed sitting next to a new – yet precious and fabulous – friend at a lunch meeting today.  She asked about my yoga teacher training and my yoga teaching plans, and then she went on to say how much she (who is a fitness instructor and amazing athlete herself) enjoys my yoga posts.

WHAT?!?  This incredible runner, Zumba instructor, and former gymnast finds value in ME??  It was mind boggling, really.  So I told her all about my internal “angel/devil on the shoulder” argument that I had with myself yesterday.  She was wonderfully supportive, and as there was no need for her to make that stuff up out of thin air, I believed her.

So here I am, posting yesterday’s pose as well as today’s: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or Upward-Facing Dog.

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Inhale while lifting heart and gaze upwards, rest on the tops of the feet, and straighten the arms.  Try not to sink or settle into the shoulders which might cause them to “shrug” but rather think of rolling them back, facing the sun above and allowing the shoulder blades to reach towards the gentle backbend created from opening of hips.

Take a moment to enjoy the multitude of stretches and opportunities for release in Up Dog.  Explore how it feels to look over each shoulder, shift your hips around, roll side to side a little.  Just like I mentioned a couple of days ago, the posture should push you but not hurt you.  See where you are today, and when we put the whole class together in a few weeks, see if you feel stronger in the pose.

I can tell you that yoga is a dance…like a Texas 2 Step…or the Hokie-Pokie…a few steps forward, then a few steps back, and a few steps this way and that way and every which way.  Some days I feel great in a pose, and the very next day I will struggle with that exact same movement.

Give yourself grace.  Enjoy wherever you find yourself TODAY.

And please know that my goal and my purpose here is to provide friend-spiration in whatever ways you need me.

With love and hugs,

Ashli

Today’s scripture:  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

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