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Big Four

In a culture of intoxicating opportunity and a free exchange of information, we, mere mortals, suddenly find ourselves able to train like tigers and champions. Perhaps you’re periodically or obsessively scaling buildings and rock faces, whilst your sixty-seven year old mother has taken up pilates through her latest iphone app. So many resources are available. Thus many of us are able to tackle the challenge of fitness and health in new and exciting ways. Thrilling as this may be, you also might spy your boot camp partner limping their way back to their Prius. Meanwhile you can’t quite figure out what’s bringing on your tension headaches. Ironically, you most likely started training to maintain your health. Perhaps you had a desire to feel good in your skin. If you’re like myself, movement and training are also a crap-ton of fun. Yet there’s tension, aching or concentrated, or movement restrictions as a byproduct of this lifestyle. What is a champion tiger to do? Survey says: Prioritize Recovery!


  1. the action or process of retrieving what’s been lost or stolen

  2. a return to health, sound mind, and strength.

I’ve misplaced quite a few items in my life: permission slips, my grip, bike locks, socks, my keys, my sanity, my cell phone, my sense of self, my dignity, my compassion. The list goes on and on and on.

The process of recollection is unyielding. Three breaths or three days into my gathered strength or focus, I find myself scattered or spread thin. There’s no healthy way to skip the need for recovery. I need sleep and days off and other people. (It’s quite annoying frankly) Homeostasis is a phase.

Today (and this entire weekend) I’m celebrating the MANY encounters with and expressions of recovery in my life.

The recovery of returning to teaching yoga, after a six month hiatus, about five years ago, then diving into learning anatomy and functional movement with Yoga Medicine. It changed the way I carried and moved my body. It reshaped how I viewed and taught movement.

The recovery of applied education through training with Martha Beck, then spinning my own web of relief and play and pleasure with the threads.

The recovery of meeting with a great therapist and scratching the surface of why. Why men who present as broken? Why shame? Why codependency? Why intoxication? Why now?

The recovery of stepping into a room of people steeped with the sentiment “you’re fucked up? I’m fucked up! Let’s get on with it. Here’s how: Surrender first. Quit deceiving yourself second. Stop lying to everybody else third. Judge no one. Do what you can. Let the rest slide. Every. Frickin. Day. It’s a gritty, loving magic. It’s a spotlight poured over shadow.

The recovery of my creativity, my “NO!”, my follow through, sleeping and dreaming, my sexuality, my anger, my forgiveness, my fruitful grieving, and my drive to succeed and even (shudder) be seen.

The recovery of my ability to trust someone to have my back and hold me close, to fight until we’re finished, love until we’re full, and laugh as often and as hysterically as possible.

The recovery of authenticity with my family and remembering that they too, like me are lovers and fighters, freedom hunters and fierce protectors, storytellers and truth seekers. They, too, like me, fumble the occasional touchdown, then charge the field with fervor in the final quarter.

The recovery of my unwavering thirst for discovery. May it never be satiated.

I am a fitness enthusiast recovering rest and healing.

I am a college drop-out recovering mental elasticity, diligence, and moments of comprehension and expression.

I am a chronic numb-er and self-defeating drinker recovering my ability to roam reality with patience and appreciation.

For all of the many definitions and forms of recovery, today I celebrate. May you and I forever uncover and rediscover how to heal may we remember then remember again who we are and what life has the potential to be.

Here’s to loss and reclamation. Here’s to everyone who’s felt fucked up then re-learned how to feel whole. I salute you, my loves! Here’s to four years!


Yogi Gone Rogue


Anika Spencer | San DIego, CA

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