Skydiving & Yoga
As a lifelong sufferer of anxiety, jumping out of a perfectly good airplane for kicks might not seem like something I’d sign on for. Traffic makes me anxious, as do long lines at the grocery store and too many unread Facebook messages. Honestly, sometimes simply sitting on my sofa on a sunny day can cause a slightly panicky feeling.
Yet here I was, on a beautiful Sunday morning, preparing to skydive alongside my fellow Shockoe Slip yogis. Voluntarily. It was Shockoe Slip Yoga’s first Yoga and Skydiving Workshop, held at the No Limits Skydiving drop zone in Victoria, VA. We spent Saturday night around the campfire, scalding marshmallows and counting shooting stars. None of us admitted that we were scared. Perhaps the others weren’t. I was, very silently, a bit terrified.
It would be my second jump. You could assume that it would be easier the second time around. Logic, however, is no match for my mind—a land of a million dire scenarios and flower arrangements for my imminent funeral. I was more anxious this second time because I knew what awaited me. Sometimes, there is solace in the not knowing.
Sunday morning we awoke to muffins and a cobalt blue sky. The No Limits team prepped the planes while we Shockoe Slip yogis put our mats on the tarmac. There were a lot of distractions—plane engines, fellow jumpers arriving, and a pug with a fondness for eating shoes. None of this, however, seemed to distract us.
We moved through planks and down dogs and wound up in Goddess pose for a quad-burning dose of empowerment. At some point during all of this, I really looked at my beautiful students. With the plane behind them, they were the very pictures of the warrior woman spirit. In this moment, my nerves took a break and a wave of calm, safe energy moved through my body. My jaw relaxed. My mind ceased creating new, more terrifying narratives.
This feeling actually lasted until the plane took off and I realized that the door would soon open and I would be launched thousands of feet into the air. My stomach didn’t flutter, it howled. My fingers went slightly numb. My brain went back to its old soundtrack. But…I did what yogis do. I breathed deep and long. I set my focus—my drishti—on the skyline and the infinite green landscape of the earth I hoped to safely return to. When that door opened, I didn’t hesitate. I went into the free fall like I’d been doing it all my life. I even kept my eyes open.
I’ve always felt like my yoga practice is like a never-ending trial study of my brain and body. With each year that goes by, new challenges are presented. How does yoga help me navigate DC traffic? How do I react to the cancelled flight or the misfiled tax return? Can I get through Christmas without being an ass? Can yoga allow me to adapt to new phases of my life? To aging? To breakups? The answer is always: YES. Yoga hasn’t solved my anxiety problems, and it hasn’t made me an image of beatific perfection. It has allowed me to move through anxiety with a bit more grace, humor, and courage. I’m still the same girl who used to have panic attacks every morning in the last stall of the girl’s bathroom at Shelburne Junior High. I vividly remember the feeling of the cold porcelain beneath me, my eyes squeezed shut. Like a much younger child, I believed that closing my eyes would make everything simply disappear. I’m still that girl. Yoga hasn’t changed me, but my practice has changed with me. It’s allowed me to leave the stall and take to the skies. Yoga helps me go through this strange, beautiful journey with eyes wide open.
Yoga & Ride
A day of fun, fitness, and plenty of food (and wine!), as we partner with Richmond’s own Basket & Bike for an experience you’re guaranteed to love. We’ll start our morning with a leisurely bike ride from the beautiful Upper Shirley Vineyards to cozy Edgewood Plantation, followed by an hour-long yoga practice and meditation, and lunch. Then we’ll hop back on our bikes and return to Upper Shirley, where a complementary glass of wine will be waiting. Yogis (and cyclists!) of all levels welcome.
Yoga on the James
Check out the latest event in our Chase Adventure series! Chase Adventure: Yoga On The James helped mix up your regularly scheduled yoga routine with a day of fun, flow, and relaxation. We started with a 60-minute all-levels yoga practice at Rocketts Landing, followed by a short meditation and an afternoon of boating down the beautiful James River. Food, non-alcoholic, and alcoholic beverages were provided — and plenty of sunshine too! We can’t wait for you to join us next time!
Costa Rica Retreat
At Shockoe Slip Yoga, we recently returned from chasing an adventure of our own — in Costa Rica! Our 5-day Strength & Relaxation Women’s Retreat left us feeling stronger and more centered, empowered and rejuvenated, and totally grateful for our fellow yogis. And in case you haven’t heard, we’re gearing up to dive back into la pura vida — that’s the totally chill, laid back, go-with-the-flow way of living the Costa Rican “Pure Life” — in February!
Yoga at Upper Shirley Vineyards
This special 60 minute yoga practice outdoors on the beautiful riverfront of Upper Shirley Vineyard, included an all-levels flow complete with heart-opening backbends and lots of hip softening. There were lots of modifications for those new to the practice or those with injuries.
Roof Top Yoga at Kabana