The Sonia Show

Writer. Podcaster. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

Return of the wheel pose


Yeah, so, I used to be pretty good at yoga.

I mean, I wasn’t going to win any medals (they give out medals for yoga, right?), but I was getting pretty good at it.

Acting like a yoga fool back in 2010.

Acting like a yoga fool back in 2010.

I went to my first yoga class ever with DH back in 2006. There was a yoga studio by the Examiner office, and it was having some special deal on classes. This is how DH tells the story: “I was struggling and falling on my face, and I look over and Sonia is standing on her head.”

That’s not quite how it went, but I felt surprising comfortable doing it. It was probably the first type of exercise, besides walking, that I actually liked doing.

In 2008, before I met mighty, mighty good man David, I was going to yoga three times a week. I was single, and I didn’t have anything else to do, so I went to yoga. I love going to yoga.

One of my all-time favorite yoga poses is the wheel pose. It looks like this:

wheelSomething about this pose makes me feel awesome. It was a pose that I had to work really hard to get to, and once I could do it, I felt like I really accomplished something.

After I met David, I started going twice a week, which is a respectable amount. Also, yoga isn’t cheap. Sure, I could do yoga in my house for free, but if I go to a studio, it’s going to cost me $16-$17.

Then in 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a surgery, then another surgery, and then another surgery.

I kept going to yoga, but I could not do a full wheel pose because of the mastectomy I had of my left breast. Yeah, fuckin’ mastectomies.

I continued to go to yoga twice a week after my surgeries, but I could never work my way back to a wheel pose. Then I got knocked up, and, well, yoga classes became harder and harder to get to. Then I was diagnosed with a frozen right shoulder, which went really well with my tight, weaker mastectomy-scarred left side. I started going about once a week for a while, and then other plans would get in the way. Life happens blah blah blah.

Now, I’m back at yoga. Still, only one day a week, and it’s only been a few weeks, but it’s so nice to be back. The goal is to bump that number up to two, but for now, one night of yoga is working. Every class I’m getting a little better, a little stronger.

Last night, at the start of class, the teacher said we were going to work on our hamstrings, shoulders and do a wheel pose. I sighed. “Oh wheel pose,” I thought. “I miss you. Someday we will be together again.”

So, we do all the other stuff, and then she announces that we’re doing to do the wheel pose, and asks if there is anyone who doesn’t have a wheel pose in their current practice. I raised my hand. I was the only one. I wanted to blurt out, “I used to be able to do it, but now I can’t because cancer, you guys. Cancer!” Instead, I didn’t say anything, because I’m not as big of an asshole as I pretend to be.

The instructor asked me if I wanted to try, and I said I did. So, she set me up with two blocks, showed me how and where to place my hands and feet, and I pushed up. She reached under me for support. Really, she was lifting me, but I was lifting, too. Now that’s fuckin’ teamwork.

The point is, I was in the pose. I was in a wheel pose for the first time in a really long time, and it felt really good. It made me feel like I could get back there. I could get good at yoga again, if I worked for it.

And then I cried.

I didn’t start sobbing or anything. I didn’t embarrass myself (this time). The instructor helped me get out of the pose, and I moved on to the next pose. But then the tears started. I was surprised by my reaction. I know that sometimes people do some poses and stretches in yoga, and it triggers some sort of release for them, and they cry. It happens. I’ve been in classes and see other people cry a little. Today, that person was me.

On the way out, I thanked the instructor, and she said, “Really good work tonight.”



Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/podcaster/mother/goober in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, go on adventures with my mighty, mighty good man David and my awesome autistic son, Calvin, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

4 thoughts on “Return of the wheel pose

  1. Good work indeed! My yoga instructor was actually the first person (beside my husband) who I told I was pregnant, because I didn’t want to kill my fetus doing a wheel pose.

    I’ve cried at the finish line of races before. I think it’s a combination of pride and pure exhaustion.

  2. Good work! I can never do the wheel. Not even with pillows. Not even with a pillow pushing me up. I can kinda maybe do the crab walk, but that is as close as I get!

  3. Pingback: Return of the mat | The Sonia Show

  4. Pingback: There’s no crying in yoga | The Sonia Show

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