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Danny And Annie // Frog Pose 101

Have you ever found yourself in your car…crying…alone? I’m definitely a car crier. There’s something about the solitude of driving and the feeling of not being in any one place that makes the tears come a little easier. Songs seem to magically have deeper meaning, the events of the day seem bigger than they really are and emotions weight a little heavier. Sometimes I drive around feeling completely blissful and grateful for sunshine and beautiful days and then other times I am on the opposite end of the spectrum – sentimental and emotional.

One sure fire way to bring on the car crying is by listening to StoryCorps on NPR. I’m pretty sure that I’ve cried listening to about 75 percent of them. If you’re not familiar with StoryCorps, let me bring you up to speed. Here is an excerpt from the “About Us” page on the website.

“StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 40,000 interviews from nearly 80,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.”

Rewind to Sunday morning. I’m driving around in my car and listening to another great NPR show, On Being. I happened to catch the end of the show and the topic was contemplating mortality. Heavy stuff for a Sunday morning, right? To close the show they played the most touching excerpt from a StoryCorps that was recorded between Danny and Annie. This Brooklyn, NY couple was married for 27 years before Danny passed away from a fast-spreading form of cancer. They visited StoryCorps twice. The first time before his diagnosis to share their love story and the second time after the diagnosis to discuss how they were dealing with the news and the reality of his mortality. The next thing I knew, the tears were freely flowing.

I usually try to share some type of message with my yoga class on Sunday mornings. I listened to the full story and immediately knew that I was going to not only play it for them but play it while I held them in frog…for five and a half minutes.

Frog is one of those dreaded yoga poses and when I call it out, there’s usually an exodus for the door. “Oh look at the time, I have to meet someone for brunch.” It’s a deep hip and groin opener and definitely one of those poses that requires surrender. The more you fight it, the more it’s going to dig into you. In addition to it being an uncomfortable pose for some, there’s the added factor of hip openers being known to illicit emotional responses in people. So not only are you kind of miserable in the pose unless you surrender to the fact that you’re in it but you also might be wondering why these crazy feelings and emotions are coming up.

I have to say that I’ve never seen a class so still during frog pose. Usually people start to fidget and come out of it early. No one moved on Sunday as they listed to Danny and Annie tell their story and there weren’t many dry eyes when we finally came out of the pose.

Let me be clear, I didn’t play the story just to make my class cry. I played it because it’s a powerful reminder to be grateful for those you love and for those who love you. Also, to remember that love is not just about grand sweeping gestures but about  how you love someone every single day. At the beginning of class I encouraged my class to dedicate their practice to someone they loved.

I leave you with two things. The story of Danny and Annie and a how-to video detailing frog pose. Y’all asked for more videos. I’m trying!



Do it and let me know how long you last.

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Winnie May 1, 2012, 8:06 pm

    Love love love this post. Thank you for sharing a beautiful love story and so much of yourself.

  • Courtney May 1, 2012, 8:15 pm

    Annnnnnd I’m boo-hooing.

  • Holly May 1, 2012, 8:35 pm

    I did frog in a yin yoga class and held it for 7 minutes!!

    It is killer. I like your suggestion on doubling the mat over. My knees did hurt a bit so I think that would help me next time.

  • Jen May 1, 2012, 8:57 pm

    I walked in on my husband watchin this on pbs and sniffling so i sat down and sobbed. And sobbed for about an hour after. What a beautiful story!

  • Kamaile May 1, 2012, 9:06 pm

    What a sweet story! Going to try frog pose then go hug my husband. Love your accent 🙂

  • Jillian May 1, 2012, 9:22 pm

    I did it while watching the video and lasted for the duration of the video, then I couldn’t handle anymore because I was crying my eyes out! Thank you for sharing this sweet video. Definitely going to hug my husband a little tighter tonight!

  • Brooke @ sweats & sweets May 1, 2012, 10:00 pm

    My husband and I just watched Danny and Annie, thank you for sharing it! I am still crying my eyes out, such a beautiful sweet recording of a couple who truly love each other more than anything. Sure puts a loving marriage in perspective. Loved it, absolutely loved it.

  • Krystina May 1, 2012, 10:24 pm

    I just bawled my eyes out. That was the sweetest, most tender and romantic thing I think I have ever heard. What a beautiful couple and a beautiful man. I need to listen to more of this because the concept behind it is so, so wonderful.

    • Krystina May 1, 2012, 10:26 pm

      Also, I must be insane because I love frog pose. Hip openers are definitely my favorite.

  • Stephanie Burnham May 1, 2012, 10:45 pm

    I am a car crier. For sure. I think everyone needs a good cry now and then. I can totally relate. I love that you write so openly and freely. I think it’s quite wonderful.

  • HA May 1, 2012, 10:57 pm

    Just a quick question – when you say to keep your hips right over your knees, what exactly do you mean? …Maybe I’m just overtired lol, but are your knees not way out and thus your hips just over the ground? Or did you mean like keeping them in line??

  • Jill May 1, 2012, 10:58 pm

    I didn’t realize you were married!

  • Lauren May 1, 2012, 11:42 pm

    Hey Jen! Thanks for the frog-pose video. I would definitely consider myself more of a runner, but I’m trying really hard to find the benefits of yoga. Does it come from just spending more time on the mat? (i can be honest that i only practice like once a month because i just don’t seem to “get” it) also, would you consider doing a post on the top yoga poses for runners? I did see your post from a LONG time ago, but i was wondering if you had any more. thanks!!!

  • Erica May 2, 2012, 6:29 am

    I think I’m actually going to wait and try this after work when I have a bit more ’emotional freedom’ time! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Chris May 2, 2012, 7:32 am

    That video was so touching. And I’m crying before work.

    Tried frog pose again with you video. Man, that is a tough one. I really need these type of poses though. I can feel the difference after releasing it!

  • Jessica May 2, 2012, 8:53 am

    I read this post last night and after my morning run today, I was channeling PBR- I laid in frog pose for about 1 min. Woohoo!! Thanks for posting the video!

  • Dory May 2, 2012, 8:53 am

    Thank you for sharing this. What a touching story, inspiring to remember to love one another deeply and truly. I will share it with friends today and with my husband when he gets home tonight.

  • Lindsay May 2, 2012, 9:21 am

    Whoa…tears just started streaming down my cheeks at work…good thing my boss ran out for a bit! Maybe it’s being a SUPER newlywed, but their story touched me big time. I can’t imagine having to say goodbye after a week, let alone 27 years. Its only been 2 days that I’ve “lived” with my husband, but I know the shelter he’s talking about already. I love love, and how blessed are those of us who have felt it?! Thanks for the sweet reminder.

  • Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride May 2, 2012, 9:59 am

    And I’m in tears! Thank you for sharing, I plan on sharing this now with my loved ones 🙂

  • Tamara May 2, 2012, 12:57 pm

    What an incredible story. Thank you SO much for sharing, it is such a powerful message. I was in tears! So important to remember to tell people how much you love them. I am sharing this with all the people in my life that I love.

    Frog pose is so good for someone like me that has the tightest hips in the history of the world!

    Sending my love and warm thoughts to you. Thanks for being so open and honest. You are incredible, Jen.

  • Jen May 2, 2012, 1:54 pm

    Jen, I stumbled upon your blog about a year ago and absolutely love it! We have some similarities (e.g. peanut butter obsession, love of running, insatiable sweet tooth, twenty-somethings named Jen..haha) and I’ve really enjoyed reading about your journey throughout the year. Congrats on all your achievements!

    Thank you for sharing Danny and Annie’s story…it definitely made me tear up and I plan on sharing it with my husband. It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget about what is TRULY important. Thanks for the reminder.

    P.S. Random, but I made your pina colada cupcakes yesterday for a co-worker’s birthday and OH. MY. GOODNESS. They are absolutely amazing and dangerously addictive!

  • Sarah May 2, 2012, 2:54 pm

    I really enjoyed this story; thank you for sharing. Amazing how the little things in life turn out to be the big things we remember.

  • Liaa May 2, 2012, 3:31 pm

    Wow. Great post. This is a great reminder that we need to tell people we love them and never regret any moments. Sometimes we get a little too caught up in silly things going on in life, when there is so much more.

  • Trish May 2, 2012, 6:05 pm

    I love storycorps – and I love the sunday morning programming. And that pose looks like just what I needed for my hips – I am doing dressage on my horse and my heels have to be under my shoulder. My horse is extra wide, so my hips are really straining with this position. Really happy to have found this

  • Kimberly June 26, 2012, 12:54 pm

    So…I know you wrote this post a while ago but I came across it while I was looking for an image for “Frog Pose.” I had to comment because I could relate to this post in many ways.
    Car crying. I feel like a car cry ALL the time. I think about things sometimes happy, sometimes sad…boom. I’m crying. It does feel like a sort of release since you are going somewhere rather than staying in one place and crying.
    Great frog pose demonstration. I actually love this pose. I did it in yoga class today and once I relaxed into the pose it felt so good.
    Watched the video. Cried my eyes out once they started talking about walking in and out of the funeral home. I think it is great you shared this to your class while in frog pose. So awesome. When you go back to teaching I will be the first one in line. 🙂

  • Samantha August 27, 2012, 10:59 pm

    I’ve never crossed your blog before, and only stumbled upon it after frantically google searching the emotional response I had to hip openers after a very long workshop yesterday. After several minutes spent in frog, pigeon, and child’s pose, it took every fiber of my being not to explode into tears, all of which just came pouring out listening to Danny and Annie.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us, for writing your thoughts, and also for sharing yourself (I think we all have car crying in common!). Sometimes the solitude of car crying is beautiful, but other times it feels that much better to know you’re not alone.
    Thank you.

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