The Misadventures of a Wannabe Yogi. ~ Dawn Meysel

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Source: via Emily on Pinterest

What was I thinking?

Last year I made two decisions for 2013. The one was to write more. The other was to start yoga again. Good, stretching, challenging ideals.

I’d done yoga before, but had a about a year’s break and I’m really a complete novice when it comes to the practice.

I decided that I’d challenge myself and chronicle my journey at the same time. Ha!

Along came elephant journal with the opportunity to write. Wonderful! Tick that off the list. Now my inspired idea of practicing yoga and sticking to something for a change. I was going to tell the world about my glorious yoga journey!

Right mess I’ve got myself into now. I mean, I’m committed, aren’t I? Someone may read this blog and actually want to know what happens next? What was I thinking?

So, I dutifully made contact with my wonderful teacher and took myself off  for my first yoga class of 2013. As I watched a bunch of grey haired people filter in, I was secretly delighted! “This is going to be a walk in the park,” I thought to myself. “I’m the youngest person here! Ha!”

The next thing I know, they’re all twisted up like pretzels! They’re doing shoulder stands! They’re touching their toes with ease. Their knees touch their noses. They’re not cracking a sweat. They’re not even groaning. They are doing stuff that I can only dream of at this stage!

That’ll teach me (for the zillionth time) not to make assumptions.

Shoulder Stand for Dummies.

My darling teacher saw my dilemma with the shoulder stand and took great pity on me. She put me up against the wall and got me to practice the motion of lifting. So there I am trying to heave my carcass up into a semblance of a shoulder stand. Unfortunately my carcass was having none of that. So I decided to just sit and stare at the “oldies” in awe whilst sweating copiously!


Do you know that there was a stage in my life when I could bite my own toenails? *shudder* A passing phase, many, many, many moons ago, but a testament to my flexibility nonetheless.

If I ever manage to do a shoulder stand, well, the gravitational logistics of where my boobs and belly will go are another matter completely! I guess my butt will want to be involved as well. Sigh

But as I said to my friends: If you want to practice yoga in the most beautiful, peaceful studio with a wonderful teacher and lots of laughs, then join in. The monthly fees are worth paying just to watch me try to haul my butt up the wall!

Source: via Julsetmoi on Pinterest

“Come on, come and climb the walls with me,” I say.

The Butt Challenge.

I’m currently “practicing” twice a week in the evenings and if I’m feeling really adventurous,  I go on a Saturday as well. I am determined that by the end of the year I’ll at least be able to get my butt to touch my legs when we kneel in the pose of the child. Only person there with that big old butt pointing straight up in the air!

I mutter silent expletives like “&%@#ing hamstrings” and “sh*t, sh*t, sh*t” whilst trying to find a comfortable position balancing on my knees and forehead. Surely I didn’t sleep like that as a kid!!

Source: via Demmi on Pinterest

One of my supple, skinny, amazingly graceful daughters has joined me at yoga classes. I’m probably embarrassing her terribly with my wall climbing and butt pointing antics. As I like to remind her though, this “old” body carried her and her sister—together—for nine months thank you very much!

It’s time it got some lovin methinks!

Watch this space!

The Next Level for other Wannabes.

If you want the inside story on what really happens in a yoga class, read Rob Pollak’s article to get the lowdown. That way you may not end up climbing the walls!


Dawn MeyselDawn Meysel hails from South Africa. Wife, Mother of Twins, Lover of books, her bed, her family, her two Zen Masters (her cats) and chocolate. She’s astounded by love and grace, appalled at hatred and injustice.  Intrepid seeker of Truth, student of the soul and spirituality, counselor, friend. She’s part of a nation clawing its way to restoration, forgiveness and healing. There’s still a long way to go but she’s excited to be alive at this time with SA’s rainbow nation, cultural and religious diversity and really good, funky food! She’s a novice student of yoga, a vegetarian, animal rights activist and non flakey in the nicest way! She lives by two mottos, “This too shall pass” and “Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.”


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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15 Responses to “The Misadventures of a Wannabe Yogi. ~ Dawn Meysel”

  1. Barbara says:

    This cracks me up! Shoulder stand is easy enough for me; plow is another story entirely. I swear I'm going to suffocate. I keep telling people in class "My fat is getting in the way of my yoga." My boobs are too big and I look a mess. But that's okay. You just keep trying. And one day you WILL be able to seat your butt on your lets whilst in child pose!

  2. Thea says:

    I attempted shoulder stand for years fraught with frustration, a kind teacher gave me a block once and told me to use it to start. It helped but coupled with severe discomfort. Turns out, not such a good pose for me due to having a cervical spine injury (from an accident years past). Next time when attempting to do shoulderstand, plow or bridge, use a strap as a belt around the top of your bust, this will help keep the girl's in check. Regarding butt to heels, I found that opening my legs wider giving room for my body allowed me to get there. I learned several modifications via trial and error on my own and many more from Anna Guest-Jelley creator of Curvy Yoga while doing her certification program. I love teaching yoga that takes other body shapes and sizes into consideration.

    • Dawn Meysel says:

      Wow Thea, I think you may be right! Even climbing the wall hurts my back. But that could be from a weak core. Thank goodness I have a teacher who insists on only doing what one can and never straining or over exerting.

      I love the sound of Curvy Yoga!!

      Thank you for the encouragement 😀

  3. Jigme Chodron says:

    I had debated restarting yoga for 2013 also. I feel so fat that I am too embarassed to even step foot in there though. I applaud your bravery.

    • Dawn Meysel says:

      Thank you for the support Jigme! I feel comfortable enough in my class because it's small and intimate and I'm slowly getting over myself. Maybe chat to Thea (above) about Curvy Yoga. We all have to start somewhere.
      Good luck! Wannabe Yogi's Rule!! 😉

  4. katybrandes says:

    Good for you! I've learned to breathe around my fat roll in shoulder stand and dare all the 20-somethings in there to look my way. Let 'em stare. You're doing it for you, I'm doing it for me, and nobody can stand in our way! Keep going.

  5. Martie says:

    Sad is the day that you are able to touch your toes … only to realised the hairy leg belongs to you! LOVE your writing! Bottoms up!

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