Every now and then, you have to lean forward into your arms, and trust your body. For years, I looked at other yoga students in awe as they moved their body through inversions in a controlled, smooth manner.

Over the past three years the excuses have changed and evolved, just as my level of fitness has changed.

“I can never do that. I’m too heavy.”

“I don’t have strong enough abs.”

“My arms are too weak.”

“I can’t risk injuring myself before the marathon.”


Three weeks ago, when I took my first Strala Yoga class I realized that I didn’t know a single person in the class other than Melissa. My relationship with Melissa is one of complete trust. She’s seen me at my worst points of a 26.2 mile run and my best moments during our three years of friendship. Feeling at peace and free of judgment, I asked the teacher ahead of class if we were going to do any inversion work.

“Would you like us to focus on it towards the end.”

My response was one of someone who felt unsure, self conscious, and embarrassed.

“Well, I know I can’t do it but I want to start trying.”

In a calm and easing voice he stated what I always knew. He explained that yoga teachers are there to assist and aid students. He, and every yoga teacher since, has happily assisted me for at least a few minutes during class in my inversion practice, as long as I’ve asked them in advance.

From that moment on, I’ve spent at least 30 minutes each week, both in and out of yoga class, practicing my headstand. Much to my mother’s dismay, I spent time in our small New York apartment practicing even though I risked falling into our sofa, TV, or damaging our freshly painted walls.

Tonight, for the first time, I had the confidence to attempt every move during class, including a side crow and headstand. While other students moved to the side of the room for wall aide, I said a prayer, bowed my head between my clasped hands, and talked myself through the movements.

A minute later I cried in elation to my yoga friends for the evening.  Ashley, Caitlin, and Jillian saw me hold my first unassisted headstand and for this I will always be thankful.

It wasn’t a dream.

Tonight I finally reached a milestone in my yoga practice and now, more than ever, am looking forward to the next.

Side crow, I’m coming for you next.

Share Button



  1. Kristin @ FoodFash January 25, 2012 / 3:23 am

    Congrats!!! What a great feeling it is to conquer something that once seemed impossible 🙂

  2. Jillian @ sprinkle massacre January 25, 2012 / 3:27 am

    I saw you trying and as soon as you got up there I was in awe!

    I finally did crow pose tonight, which I was super excited about as well! I’m coming after side crow with you.

    • Ashley D January 25, 2012 / 3:37 am

      Jillian thank you so much for coming after side crow with me! Want to make next Tuesday another date? 🙂

  3. Kath January 25, 2012 / 3:31 am

    Headstand is hard!! Congrats 😉

    • Ashley D January 25, 2012 / 3:36 am

      Thanks! I couldn’t stop smiling my entire mile walk home!

  4. Ricole Runs January 25, 2012 / 3:41 am

    Super impressive. Nice work setting goals and sticking to them until you succeed! Next we need a picture! 🙂

  5. Theodora January 25, 2012 / 3:55 am

    Congrats! I do need to try Strala with you.

  6. helen @ change comes from within January 25, 2012 / 9:20 am

    Good for you! It takes courage to take those leaps of faith, but the feeling afterwards is so worth it!

  7. Karla January 25, 2012 / 12:47 pm


    It is funny….Just the other day, after a really good ariel yoga class, I went home and just tried a headstand (against the wall, but still.) I didn’t think I could do it–but I did. And, I was so proud! Good job on your headstand! It is an accomplishment to be proud of.


  8. Life's a Bowl January 25, 2012 / 1:30 pm

    Congrats on a successful headstand! I haven’t tried doing one in years but I wanna do one right now [in my pencil skirt, blouse, and wedges haha]! I remember doing them when I was younger and all the blood would rush to my head…

  9. Katy Widrick January 25, 2012 / 2:26 pm

    That is AMAZING! So proud of you…

  10. Christina January 25, 2012 / 3:54 pm

    Congrats on the headstand! I halfheartedly attempted one a while ago, but stopped before I broke something. I need to get back into yoga.

  11. Michele @ nycrunningmama January 25, 2012 / 5:46 pm

    Congrats!!! That is a huge accomplishment!!! =) Now someone needs to videotape you as you do it!!!

  12. AmandaRunsNY January 26, 2012 / 2:30 am

    Congratulations! That’s huge. And Sidecrow is major…only like two people in my yoga class can do it and the lunch time yoga classes at my gym are serious stuff. WOW!

    • Ashley D January 26, 2012 / 12:08 pm

      Thanks lovely! It was an amazing feeling!

  13. Brigid January 26, 2012 / 5:05 pm

    Congrats! That is so great to be able to do something that was once unattainable. This convinces me I need to start doing yoga, rather than just talk about it!

  14. Jenna@EverydayHealthLetter February 1, 2012 / 4:06 pm

    Good for you!! Its great you were able to take your yoga to the next level, and accomplish a move yo once thought to be impossible! It’s clear you have a great mind set and dedication to yoga. I’ve been doing a few yoga classes lately, and the feeling after each session is so rewarding. Keep up the good work!

Comments are closed.