Last night I went to my first yoga class in a long time. I’ll usually go during taper week and then remember how great it feels, go more frequently for the following month, and then kind of stop. The “sometimes yogi,” yeah that’s me.
With yoga, you’re supposed to clear your mind, leave everything at the mat. Your focus should be entirely on your breath, and any thoughts that enter your head, any concerns, you should acknowledge them and let them go. Except that’s the problem for me. Being quiet in a room only welcomes more thoughts. All I want to do is think. And sometimes these thoughts include self-loathing and personal disgust.
Thoughts like “I shouldn’t be wearing spandex,” “I should be skinnier before I come back to yoga,” “I look voluptuous (in a negative way),” “how are these girls so trim?” Basically it can turn into one hour of a personal roast. But by the end, I’ve usually sweated it all out, including negative feelings and just decide next time I’ll really try on letting everything go.
Last night was the first time I went to a class and felt proud, from start to finish. For one, I looked super cute in my printed leggings. And two, I was able to hold poses I never thought I’d be able to (half moon, anyone?). Is it possible to be stronger and have a better practice after not going for 4 months? It made me realize that I’ve become strong in other ways that have helped me to hold poses and reduce shaking. I’ve developed upper body strength through my once-a-week personal training sessions where we’ve just been focusing on upper body (to save my legs). And my legs have just become stronger through increased mileage, structured workouts and challenging runs. It actually made me grateful for just being able to make it on my mat (cliche?)
I haven’t really touched on body image/issues on here, but I think it’s something more people often than not deal with (including me).
Other articles of interest:
Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy