Laugh, be present

Marit practices head stand regularly on her own.

Marit practices head stand regularly on her own.

Marit’s story could be most any beginner’s. She came to her first class immensely unsure of herself. She had good reasons to be scared. She had suffered a small stroke and couldn’t stand in mountain pose without falling over.

She brought a strong asset, however: her willingness to laugh.

She was in her early 60s. A friend had urged her to come. She arrived with a big smile and very little expectations. After more than 10 years of regular class attendance and home practice, her headstands fill fellow students with awe. She started practicing headstands regularly at home because they can help with motion sickness. Now she can go on a cruise, with nary a moment of nausea.

With help, she can kick up into handstand.

She can step wide for utthita trikonasana, extended triangle pose. Like all of us, she may wobble. Like many of us, sometimes she sits down abruptly. And laughs.

Mountain pose? Piece of cake.

Of late, she has been getting her husband, once several inches taller than she is, to try a bit of yoga at home. He might even come to class, she says. And then she laughs.

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