A few months ago I had decided that by my one year Bikram Yoga Anniversary that I would be able to grab my feet in floor bow. In floor bow one lies on the abdomen and reaches the hands back toward the feet, with the goal of the hands grabbing the feet a couple of inches below the toes. When I first started Bikram Yoga in April of 2013 my hands didn’t even come close to reaching my feet. In fact there might have even been more than two feet (no pun intended) between my feet and my hands. I’m not really sure.
I tried desperately in class to reach my hands back toward my feet, to maximize the stretch. I wanted so much to feel like I was making some type of progress. I wanted my efforts in that hot hot hot room to be validated by visible signs of progress.
One day, I don’t remember when, Loren suggested using a strap or towel so I could get greater benefit from kicking up, from the stretch, so I brought my yoga strap to class and we tried it. Wow! I felt so a much stronger, so much more of a kick. Suddenly my thighs and upper body came up off the floor so much higher! I had a greater ability to create more lift! Such an amazing feeling of empowerment!
It didn’t take long to graduate from a strap to a towel. The towel allowed for a stronger grip, and I didn’t need as much length anymore. As my Yoga-verssary neared I still didn’t seem to have the strength, the flexibility to close the gap, so I just mentally surrendered and started telling myself that my hands would hold my feet when the time was ready. I didn’t give up. I just stopped expecting a certain result. I did my best to maximize the stretch and left it at that.
Then today, with Loren’s help, I managed to grab hold of both my feet. It might have lasted a few seconds, a few breaths, but I could feel my heart soar with the new space I’d just created. It’ll take more work for me to be able to hold it for the full duration of the pose and there will likely be days where I won’t hold both feet as I work toward my goat, BUT I did it today, and that means I’ll do so much more tomorrow and the day after that.
Doing more doesn’t just translate into the yoga room. I felt such a high that as I meandered through Sprouts after class, I didn’t even have the temptation for chocolate or other “bad” foods. I can’t tell you how much of a miracle that little thing is. Still, with all the progress I’ve made, the simple act of grocery shopping requires such a strong will, especially Trader Joe’s. I don’t always succeed, but more often than not I’m making healthier choices.
But to be able to go to a store and not feel tempted just once, by candy bars, cookies, potato chips, etc…… That’s a miracle, and it’s one I worked for. Yoga really isn’t just about postures and breathing. Yoga = Life. And today I lived and loved like never before. Gives me so much more hope and happiness.
You get what you work for. Today, I tasted even more freedom: mentally, physically, and emotionally.
It’s no accident that I achieved this during a week where I pushed myself and did 8 Bikram classes—4 doubles. When I safely push myself to reach new emotional and physical heights, the universe rewards me.
Click on the link to see pics of me and floor bow in action: http://www.confessionsofayogaprincess.com/#!floor-bow/c19yg
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The following pic shows my floor bow from July 2013 (on the bottom) and from April 2014 on the top.