Yoga isn't something I was ever particularly interested in. Well, for a long time, physical exercise wasn't something I was particularly interested in. Couple that with the fact that I am a fat girl, I just didn't think it was for me. I know, I know...there are fat yogis. I haven't followed any because I have never cared much for the concept of yoga...until I tried it.
I'm officially jumping on the yoga train because... I think I might love it.
I have been invited to yoga events and gatherings in the past and have always declined. I felt like I wouldn't fit in, feared being the fattest one in the room (happens a lot), and figured I wouldn't be able to do any of the moves anyway. I was confident I wouldn't be relaxed at all and would come away feeling even worse about myself.
I've been on this health journey for almost five months now and my body is cooperating a whole lot more than it use to. I have wanted to push it further and further, try new things, and improve my overall health as much as I possibly can. Yoga seemed like a good addition and change up to my routine. Not to mention the benefit it can have to the lymph system. (See previous post about my lymph issues.)
I didn't go alone on Monday. I waited for my friend Lindsey and went on Tuesday. I figured I'd better meet the instructor first and talk about potential limitations. I was afraid that if I had to spend too much time on my knees, I'd be in pain. I wasn't sure if she'd be able to show me modifications during class or if I should just do what I could as I went along. That intro went something like this:
Me: Hi! My name is Bobbi. I'm a first timer.
Me: I won't be able to do everything...(motioning to my figure)...for obvious reasons. I also have a recovering bad knee so.....not sure where that leaves me. If I have to be on my knees much, that might be an issue. Ya know, like doggy-style...haha...what do they call that in yoga?
Instructor: (laughs as she gets on the ground) Do you think you can do this?
Instructor: (changes position) This?
Me: Probably not.
Instructor: (adjusts again) How about this one?
Instructor: Ok. Hmm.... Let's just see how it goes. Just make sure you aren't in pain when trying and if you need to, just relax through anything that doesn't work for you.
Fortunately, there were all sorts of body types in the room. Young, old, male, female, small, big, newbies, vets, etc. I don't think a single person cared about what I was doing, they were just focusing on doing their thing and many had to modify for their own reasons, whatever they were. Of course there were a couple pros that looked incredible but, I don't let that make me feel bad about me anymore. I just see them and their abilities as something to strive for. INSPIRATION!
I DID IT! I did almost every bit of it. There were a couple of transitions I couldn't do as smoothly between moves. There were some stretches I couldn't hold quite as long because they were brand new to me and quite effective! I know my husband passed by the window and was even surprised that I was getting it done. Heck, I was surprised I was getting it done. IT FELT INCREDIBLE physically and emotionally.
Meditation has never really been my bag. I'm not real good at being quiet and still. My second grade teacher use to tie me to my desk because I wasn't good at it then either. During some of the long periods of meditation I felt like the bad kid in church that can't sit through a prayer without opening their eyes and looking around. I'll have to work on that. Other than that, I loved it all.
I found this video by Jessamyn Stanley, a large bodied yogi, that talks about letting go of your own fears and negative self talk and just seeing what your body can do.
Like she says, don't turn yourself into a victim. Your own negative self talk will keep you down far more than what others think of you.
So, yoga tonight at 6pm!
“Samskara saksat karanat purvajati jnanam. Through sustained focus and meditation on our patterns, habits, and conditioning, we gain knowledge and understanding of our past and how we can change the patterns that aren’t serving us to live more freely and fully.” ~ Yoga Sutra III.18