If you didn’t know already, the main inspiration for getting back into yoga was all the videos and photos that I’d been looking at on Instagram. I’d become fascinated with hashtags like #yogaeverydamnday #inversionjunkie and #handstandcomedy (yes, it’s really a thing), since I first downloaded the app in May 2014. And while a lot of people might criticize the selfies as ‘flaunting it’ or ‘showing off’, that is not my main motive.
Sure, it’s amazing to show off great poses and it’s an ego boost. Yet, the positive rewards I reap from my personal successes – the confidence, the sense of well-being, my increased sense of body awareness, the health benefits – overshadows any vanity in the screenshots or videos that I upload for the world-wide-web to observe. And in the mere fact that my long-time friends and family members, including my mother and my cousins, give me thumbs-up and applaud me on my achievements prove that they are, indeed, simply happy for what I’ve gained the past few weeks.
If you’re reading my blog, you know that I’m not a very private person. I have no problem posting my full name or a full-length picture of my body, but since I work with minors, in a school setting, and am regarded by my surrounding community as an ‘outsider’ – no matter, how long I live in the Eeyou Istchee, I will never be accepted into the Aboriginal community fully – I need to respect their privacy. For that, I have to act professionally and will not post the name of the school board I work with (although this is not too hard to figure out), my coworkers’ names, my friends’ names or those of my students or students’ parents. But when it comes to myself, I like to, and need to, share my thoughts and feelings so that I hold myself honest and accountable.
Going back to my point.
Since posting my poses the past few days though, I feel that my head has become just oh-so-slightly inflated. This morning, while trying to continue my practice into a full salamba sirsasna, I kept struggling and falling over. As I reflected on what was happening, I felt that I was working for a camera. I wasn’t focused on my body, my muscles or for the sake of practice.
I turned it off. I pondered.
What am I missing?
Would I continue my practice even if I didn’t have an audience?
Yes, yes, yes.
I realize I’ve been lucky that I was able to get so far in a not-so-easy pose in a mere two weeks. But what I truly need to continue pushing forward – in a safe manner – is the backend work.
This past weekend, I spent at least 5 hours working on a presentation at an upcoming teachers’ conference in Val D’Or. I’m not finished my preparation yet and intend on spending at least another 5 hours before I feel that I can stand up in front of a crowd. I plan on making an audio recording of myself speaking and am considering getting a friend to watch me as I do a dry run. The actual presentation, in fact, will only be 2 hours long.
So a performance might look fantastic at face value, but often we have no idea how much backend work was required to get there. That goes for all the headstands, backbends and inversions that yoga-enthusiasts do. Even giving a stab at Kino McGregor’s training exercises for pull-throughs, I was exhausted and panting after two attempts. She makes it look easy, she makes it look good, but how much practice went into it initially? Even the best stand-up comedians, like Jerry Seinfeld, who appear to be doing things ad-lib, actually spent hours, weeks, months rehearsing before they step onto the stage.
And so I admit to myself, I need to start doing the strength training … seriously and steadily.
The problem is, I’m no good at setting up my own regiment. I need a program, or a trainer. Otherwise, I make excuses and skip workouts. What I have been considering is Kerri Verna’s core strength training program (currently on sale for $30 from $40) via CodyApp. I’d love to buy it, but currently, there are no offline capabilities for the videos.* Maybe I can find a coworker to split it with me? I haven’t come up with a solution yet, but I’m happy to take suggestions. Or might just give in and get the CodyApp package anyway for myself.
What to do!?
I’ll sit on this for now. Off to try my hand at some zucchini soup, based on a recipe I stole off vegancha on Instagram.
*It’s hard for both J. and I to use internet and Netflix at the same time. This is a big problem between us.