Between Beauty and Beast: A Yoga Story

My yoga life is less than noteworthy.

Tasha Edwards Yoga

Well, depends on your perspective.

(Under Armour Yoga at the Four Seasons Baltimore)As a woman dealing with series of a major life changes, eating disorder and body image issue included, that $99 I spent (which was hard to come by) for the certification I was told not to get (yoga was just not “in demand) was the best money I ever spent.  As people turn their noses up as to how I was qualified to teach yoga with a $99 certification, here’s my answer: Passion, drive and life qualified me more than any piece of paper I could ever receive.

It drove peo20130613_084013-1ple nuts, you know “those people,” the “REAL” yogis who traveled the universe taking yoga workshops in exotic places for weeks at a time, multiple times a year, spitting off sanskrit about as efficient as I can spit out South Side Chicago slang.  They couldn’t understand why my classes were full.  I wasn’t teaching handstands.  Or headstands.  OrCYMERA_20131005_183058 forearm balances.  Or lotus.  I still don’t.  And I always keep a job.  But I admit, the talk and pressure got to me and started to think I was missing something.  I owned every yoga book and DVD known to man (thanks, EBay) but I had never been “taught” those things and I still felt great after I was done.  Would I feel better if I could hold an one-arm handstand?

The first time I ever saw a “pose” that I just had to do (other than pigeon on the front cover of Yoga Journal which led me to throwing my back out but that’s another story) was a picture of Faith Hunter up against a brick wall standing on one hand.  It literally took my breath away.  I have been following Faith since waaaaay back in the day on MySpace.  I saved the Yoga Journal she was in after, of course, I sat in the parking lot and looked through EVERY page several times.  When I see Faith in the yoga flows and pictures, she is so graceful and all heart and all committed to her practice.  There is a glow in her eyes that I just find amazing.  Her presence influenced me to just go with it, even though I don’t know, never met her, never got a retweet from her.  I just feel connected to the beauty of her practice.

And then there was Shauna Harrison.

Shauna Harrison

To say I love Shauna would be the understatement of the year. I discovered this treasure on Instagram as we are both ambassadors Shauna Harrison Yogafor Under Armour.  This woman is the truth.  She speaks the truth, is super strong and has the bomb workout playlists. 🙂  And can I just say she can do some crazy stuff?  When I see Shauna standing on her head, balancing in a yoga pose in a TRX (yes, really), I think, “AHHHHHH, that girl is BEAST!!!!!” I admire her practice so because it just reflects who she is and you just feel stronger looking at her.  Well, until you try some of that stuff she does.  🙂  I have secretly tried some of her poses.  And secretly failed. But there is something in Shauna that inspires me to keep seeking that power.

And in between every other post on my Instagram being a yoThe closest I've ever gotten to handstand!ga trick, finally being enrolled in a yoga teacher training program that didn’t cost $99, new emotional discoveries in my own life and a changing body, I find myself sometimes wavering in between where I fit in this “yoga world” that has seem to become so competitiveunder armour yoga and more about what I can do than who I am.  Sometimes, honestly, I couldn’t care less about enlightenment.  I want to stick the handstand.  Other days, well, I’m puzzled why people are killing themselves (and their wrists) doing arm balances all of the time when, really, I just want a child’s pose and a savasana.  And ALL of that for ALL of us is all good.

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But, for me, it took a moment of realizing that I’m o.k. with my way.  It’s not that I never want to work some of the more challenging poses but I don’t want to be consumed by it either.  I am in between still working on opening the beauty of my practice and my life and reaching for the beast.

That puts me right at just learning to “BE.” And that’s becoming better every day.

Off to teach yoga! 🙂

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