You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who said 2016 was a great year. It was a year full of tragedies, many heartbreaks, and a near-death experience I never expected to face in a million years. And it all left me pretty broken.
Where I used to be inspired and upbeat, I'm now cynical and disenchanted. I used to encourage my yoga students to dream big, to manifest whatever it is they wanted from this lifetime. But frankly, I'm stuck in a place where I don't really believe that to be true anymore. With all the disasters I've recently been through, I'm having a lot of trouble believing things will work out for the better and that I can just will my way back to equilibrium. I know this is temporary. I know this will pass. It's just that, at this point, life has lost a little bit of magic.
When I started to overcome the physical injuries I sustained at the tail end of 2016, and I began to bring yogic movement back into my body for the first time, the backbends were the poses that brought me back to life, so to speak, even if only temporarily. Postures like camel and wheel were brief moments of euphoria that yanked me out of my inner screenplay of devastating thoughts and instead thrust me into the present moment. I had done my fair share of backbends in the past, but they took on a whole new meaning this go-around. It's hard to remember what's going wrong when you're upside down and you can't tell which way is up and which way is down.
So in an attempt to take control of 2017 and transform it into an exquisite year (or at least make it slightly more tolerable than 2016), I'm embarking on a new project: The Year of Backbending.
Here are six reasons I'm doing a backbend every day in 2017 and documenting the voyage along the way: