…if ten million fireflies lit up the sky.

I’m trying so hard to learn this pose:

Firefly, Alexia Bauer

Firefly.

It looks and sounds like magic.
Did you know that fireflies talk to each other with light?
Some yogis do that, too.

To me, this pose is more than just aesthetically pleasing.
I want to master it because I want to feel light.
I want to feel The Light.

In January I’m going to be doing a Rachel Brathen (http://rachelbrathen.com) 30-day yoga challenge.
#YogaEveryDamnDay, as the kids on Instagram like to call it.
I’m expanding my yoga resume by beginning practice at Ashtanga Yoga Victoria!
I’ll still be a Bikram girl at heart, though.

Here are my “best” attempts at Firefly Pose.

I’m struggling to get my hands in front of my body and flat-palmmed.
But hey, gotta start somewhere.
Especially since this time yesterday, I couldn’t lift my bum even one inch off the ground.

Yoga changed me.

Before this year, I was fearful of trying new things and involving myself in the community. I had few hobbies – singing, scrapbooking, socializing – and they fell more to the wayside the further I got into my post-secondary studies.

In May, I began running. Before I knew it, May turned into June and July, and I kept running and running and running. Those months opened to me a whole world of fun and fitness – from biking to hiking to pumping iron at the gym – and eventually this new world lead me to the first passion of my adult life, yoga.

I had tried Bikram yoga many years ago but never had the dedication or inspiration to return to more than a few classes. There were a string of reasons as to why I couldn’t attend class: I was too tired, too sore, too sad, too lazy, and above all, too scared. I was scared of falling out of the posture, being seen in a yoga costume, and etching myself into a new environment in which I had no safety net or blanket.

In August, during a painful time, one of my oldest and dearest friends, April, invited me to a yoga class at Bikram Yoga Saanich. One class was all I needed. I was still afraid of going to the studio by myself, though. I did, however, manage to muster up some courage to attend a few classes alone during a two-week unlimited introductory series.

April surprised me even further by recommending me as a candidate for BYS’s Karma program. How Karma works is simple: commit to two cleaning shifts per week, and in exchange, receive an unlimited yoga pass. I understood the monetary value; however, it wasn’t until recently that I have begun to grasp the spiritual and physical worth of this gift. Here I am, 4 months later, still happily mopping up other people’s sweat at BYS. It has been a wonderful experience and I hope to be a part of the Karma program for a long time.

Yoga has shown me, in our four-month love affair, that strength is not just physical. It can be emotional, like that time I burst into tears during class and had to leave the room. Strength was the courage to go back into the studio, my face puffy and tear-stained, and complete the series alongside my teacher, Owl. It can be mental, like whenever I tune into my practice so acutely that my mind is on one thing – the posture. Strength is the determination it takes to leave my warm bed when it’s pouring rain to either run for the bus (which I always seem to have to do) or, during extremely desperate times, hop on my old, rickety mountain bike and furiously pedal to the studio. Strength is the resiliency to bounce back from injuries and perform at a higher standard than before I was wounded. Strength is the fearlessness it takes to get involved in the community, step out of my comfort zone, and apply myself to a sometimes scary and tumultuous 90-minute practice.

Four months since starting my journey at BYS, I have gained strength in areas I never thought possible. Not just my triceps, deltoids and quadriceps (thank you, Awkward) – but where it counts most. I have begun to branch out in my practice and in my life. I have begun self-practice, meditation, additional volunteer work, and can often be found scouring the pages of Instagram, Craigslist, Groupon, and various yoga blogs for inspiration.

Yoga is a journey, and I am so blessed and happy to finally be on a path to enlightenment.

~G.B.