I’ve been going to yoga 3x a week and it has been, in a word, transformative.
Something beautiful occurs inside me during the hour and a half I’m in the studio. I am able to BE in my body. Not the entire time but in longer and longer pockets the more I go. One class last week I realized during savasana (where you lay at rest on your mat at the end of class) that I had not been in my head for the last 30 minutes.
This is monumental, you guys.
Though it’s hard to focus on your mind’s racing thoughts when you’re trying to hold yourself up in plank pose. Plank pose kicks my ass, y’all. I am afraid of it. Every time the instructor says “and now move into plank pose” something inside my body screams out “NOOOOOOOO NOT PLANK POSE!” But I do it. I try. My arms shake. My wrists strain. I feel the heft of my body balancing on hands and toes. I think about my thighs, my back, the alignment of my spine. I breathe deeply. I try not to give up.
I try not to give up.
And on the days I’m not feeling as strong and I have to rest down on my knees before anyone else in the class, I let myself be okay with that. Because I did the best FOR ME. One of the things I love most about yoga is that there is no competition, no besting except your own personal best. I’m feeling more and more comfortable in class to the point that I’ve actually stripped down to a tank top.
If you recall, I don’t wear tank tops in public as I have a lot of body image stuff around my bare arms. Sure, I am not waltzing around Capitol Hill in sleeveless tops (yet) but I am in a group of strangers wearing yoga pants and a tank top. I’d say that’s progress.
I’m excited to deepen my practice. Because in doing so I am deepening my relationship with myself and my body. I am not doing it for weight loss but for self-care, self-love, poise and peace. First I find a path to gentleness with myself. The rest comes from there. That core place inside me that is resilient yet soft, grounded yet hopeful.