Yoga and Me (a love story)
I am trying to get more into yoga. I mean, I live in Seattle where it’s practically in the by-laws that every able-bodied woman do yoga have a yoga practice.
People who do practice yoga seem so together. There’s almost a smugness in their faces when I see them walking to class with their rolled up mats tucked under their well-toned arms. Like they are in on some giant secret. Yoga taunts me. One of the best yoga studios in Seattle is 2 blocks away from my house. Plus some of my very best friends swear by yoga.
For someone like me who has always had a challenging relationship with her body, doing yoga felt too intimate or something. And some of those positions? Let’s just say that flexible was rarely a word I used in a sentence to describe myself.
I have taken yoga classes in the past. Once I even went to a weekend yoga retreat with those very best friends I mentioned. The yoga was fine, the beach was beautiful but my kids were little at the time, so spending a night almost anywhere with girlfriends felt like a retreat. It was never about the yoga.
Last year I started going to a restorative yoga class when my doctor suggested it for insomnia. Apparently restorative yoga is yoga where you basically never stand up. I could do that! The poses are all designed to help your parasympathetic nervous system, which essentially means that you get really relaxed and you might even snore briefly when you are doing legs up the wall. Bottom line: It totally fucking rocks.
After a few months of this I decided to try a Level 1 yoga class yet again. I had lost a total of 50 pounds in the last 3 years so I reasoned that it might feel different this time. And here’s the thing: the yoga felt exactly the same. The difference turned out to be what I was telling myself when I was taking the class. I decided to change the whole “I’m just not a yoga person” story. Instead I went with “ I’m a person who sometimes tries yoga." That felt way better. As a result I have tried yoga a few more times. I think I might even be getting better at it. So I am changing the story again. Now the story is “I am a person who actually does yoga whenever I want."
Cut to several months later and I am walking to yoga class with my mat tucked under my not-perfectly-toned arm. I’m feeling pretty good. Maybe even a little smug? I could have been in on the secret the whole time. Turns out the real secret for me is that I can change my story anytime I want to.
Oh, and P.S. – I am now a person who is in a normal stable relationship with their body. Me and my body are besties. We are inseparable.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…