Here I am, being hard on myself again.
After three days away from the studio, I was back this evening for a C1. A friend – a competitive runner – joined me for her first ever yoga class. She laughed at me when I tried to explain to her that yoga is a personal, do-what-your-body-needs practice. She scoffed when I told her she wouldn’t get a medal at the end. Because there is no end.
In the past few weeks, many people have wanted to talk about what I’m doing. They’re curious…and apprehensive. A few times each week, I hear comments similar to the things my friend said to me. Most begin with “I’ve thought about trying yoga but I’m…”
Too fat…not flexible…afraid I’ll look stupid…
I’ve been there. I remember going to my first yoga class in 2009, unable to touch my toes or balance on one foot. I was convinced I was too overweight to be a yogi and I was far too self-conscious to attempt any of the cutey patootie yoga clothes. Over time, I got stronger. And then, in 2011, I got knocked on my badonkadonk with a series of abdominal surgeries that took me out of the yoga studio and landed me in my bed. When I went back, nearly two years later, I again felt overweight, inflexible and clumsy.
It took a while, but I made peace with all of it. I mean, I thought I had.
Practicing along side my friend brought me back to a time when I was newer to yoga and feeling insecure. And then reality smacked me in the face. I’m still not comfortable showing my body in cutie patootie yoga clothes. I still judge my flexibility. I still fall out of balance postures.
Remember what I said before? There is no end. Yoga’s a journey, not a destination. I know this in my heart. Sometimes I don’t know it in my head. So, I continue to build strength and flexibility and I continue to work toward acceptance of my body. I continue on my journey of connecting my body, mind and soul. That’s what yoga’s all about.
Today’s intention: I will give myself the same gentle advice I give to others as we all move together on our paths to self-acceptance.