Sva dharma, yoga, and “The Fear”

Before we moved to Los Angeles, we lived in Orange County. I practiced there with Diana Christinson at Pacific Ashtanga. Diana helped me overcome a lot of fear. In addition to the blown disc in my spine, I had a torn shoulder. I had never really done a full backbend or a handstand. I was scared of headstand away from the wall. I’d never dropped back, or jumped through. I wasn’t an athletic kid growing up, but Diana convinced me these things were possible. It was Diana who taught me how to overcome my fear in Ashtanga.

Diana, from The OC Register
Diana, from The OC Register

If you’d like to get a sense of how she did that, I’m pleased to find that she’s written a guest column for the Orange County Register. Turns out Diana has some fears of her own: Surfing.

“The fear of not being a strong enough swimmer, of not being able to control the conditions, or not having enough breath when I really needed it, but most of all the fear of the raw and awesome force nature packs behind a powerful wave as it hits the beach.”

In her column, she makes some connections with following your dharma and overcoming fear. The fact that she uses surfing as an example just makes me miss practicing with her even more: Although I grew up surfing in South Texas, I’m afraid of the surf in Southern California. I’m often afflicted with what’s known by surfers at “The Fear.”  After all these years, she’s still teaching me. Check out her column.

Posted by Bobbie

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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