Standing Up to Standing Bow

Please note that as of the end of summer 2014, I will be moving my blog to the following link (until that time all blog posts will be duplicated in both locations):

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about my struggles with Standing Bow

Today I share with you my evolving thoughts about the posture. On April 11th Leila Brewster of Leila Brewster Photography took photos of me doing yoga poses. She captured perfectly how I’m aiming to work on my Standing Bow. The series of pictures, located on my website:!standingbow/c12ob show how my instructor helps me into the pose. You can see how Loren helps me grab my foot and then reach the full extent of the posture.

When I’m in the class, he does things differently. Loren helps me grab my foot. Then it’s up to me to find my balance. Some days I have it. Some days I don’t. Some days I have the strength to attempt the full expression of the pose. Some days I don’t.

When I struggle for balance, there’s almost always one key factor that leads me to lose my balance: I stop breathing. It’s as though my body, or my mind, feels as though I can more easily retain balance if I stop breathing. I have no idea how I developed that logic, but somehow I did. I’m finding it difficult to retrain my self, retrain my thinking. What is it about the fighting for balance that makes me want to hold my breath?

Thinking about that question makes me wonder if I hold my breath through all of life’s uneasy situations.  I don’t mean this literally, of course. But inaction could, in a way be akin to holding my breath. When there is something I need to say to someone, but I’m not sure what or how to say it I put it off, sometimes. Not as much as I used to. Is there a small decision I want to make but I don’t? I’ve been a people pleaser all my life. It’s only been recently that I’ve been making choices for me, so there are literally times where I’ll think about whether or not people will be upset when I make choices just for me. I have to let go of that.

Struggling for balance, fighting for breath in Standing Bow teaches me that. I have to live in the now for me, and if people really love me they’ll be happy with whatever choice I make.

See? Yoga isn’t just about yoga. Yoga really is life. Love. Self-love.


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Strength through Vulnerability: Nancy Does Standing Bow


Standing Bow isn’t really the hardest posture ever, but I have a ways to go before I can reach my foot on my own. I wasn’t planning on sharing this video. Heck, I wasn’t even planning on making it, but I found myself inspired by a conversation I had with my dermatologist, Dr. B. I’ve known him for over 20 years now and am always buoyed by his belief in me.

As I visited with him during my check-up today, I told him about my blog and my yoga and fitness efforts, and he said, in all earnestness, that I could really help people by showing how I do my yoga now. (Dr. B I hope you’re reading this because this blog is dedicated to YOU!).

I’ve shown you a couple of videos of postures I can do by myself, but that isn’t true of all postures. There are a couple of postures that I need some help with OR I don’t get benefit from them. It’s one thing for me to tell you this, but it’s another altogether for me to show you my struggles, very visible struggles with postures.

I’ve tried Standing Bow Pulling Pose on my own, with a towel, but I can’t quite reach my foot that way and it feels like I’m just pseudo holding my leg while sweating. I’m beyond fortunate, and I know it, that I have an instructor who helps me grab my leg so I can get the maximum benefit of the pose while working toward being able to grab my foot on my own.

Until that time I work at stretches that will help me be able to reach my foot, but I also feel that there is a deeper metaphorical meaning to this pose. As I strive to get my life more in balance then my body will more readily adapt to this pose. I also know that when my leg actually reaches my hand on its own, I will have great reason to celebrate and even greater reason to keep working a delving into the deeper reaches of Standing Bow Pulling Pose.

It’s so difficult for me to be this vulnerable with all of you, but I’m hoping you’ll see my strength through my struggle, that I’m willing to persevere, knowing that I’m really worth working for. So are YOU! Work for what you want! You’ll be glad you did!

(I promise not to always do yoga videos. I’m just on a roll right now.)

IF you’d like, please feel free to follow my daily journey on facebook via my community fitness page:

Nancy Does Standing Bow

Nancy Does Standing Bow