I’ve always wanted to be a person who does yoga..
Notice the difference between that statement and if I had said: I’ve always wanted to do yoga.
Every time an opportunity to do/try yoga came up I would ignore it so I stopped saying the second phrase and started to say the first one instead. Because evidently I didn’t really want to do yoga. I followed a bunch of yogis online, I read about yoga, and bought cute tank tops at Target that opened in the back, but I never would actually do yoga. I realized I just wanted to be someone who did it, without actually going to a class.
Then two things happened. First? I found a local yoga instructor who was on social media but her feed wasn’t filled with pictures of young, long, thin women in lululemon doing warrior poses on mountain tops. She had photos of classes filled with people who looked like me. Older. Rounder. Wearing regular comfortable athletic wear and not tights that cost $90.
(Sidenote: Good athletic wear is worth the cost. I’m not trying to snark on good athletic clothing. If you can afford it, buy it. I’m just still licking my wounds from the Lululemon incident many moons ago that had me giving up my favorite running skirt.)
ANYWAY! Her classes looked welcoming. She talked a lot about body positivity and finding light in darkness and she was older than me and – the kicker – she had WINGS painted on her studio walls!
(You can always win me over with painted wings on walls.)
So I started considering going to one of her community classes she sometimes taught for free. That was the FIRST thing that happened. Then I read this article: The ‘sexy, spiritual, successful woman’ ideal – why it hurts us.
This article spoke a lot of what I think kept me SO INTIMIDATED by yoga classes. And truthfully? Intimidated by women who do yoga. I seemed to have set some sort of aspirational goal in their embodiment which is not exactly good for my mental health, my spirituality, and it kinda defeats a lot of the purpose of finding peace in body movement.
So then I REALLY started talking more about doing a yoga class with this instructor I found. And do you know what? Turns out she offers them on Sundays at our FAVORITE TAP ROOM that is TWO MILES from our house! So yesterday morning we grabbed our yoga mats (we had to go buy a second one, we only had one) and walked to Asanas and Ales! $12 for yoga and good draft beer!
I just had to get over all of my fears to go. And going with my husband added a few more fears because he used to do yoga every week during Ironman training and he got REALLY GOOD AT ALL OF IT because that’s who he is. I had told a friend of mine that I was going, one who knew this instructor and had been to her classes before, and she texted me yesterday morning to say she’d be going too…THANK GOD. But then? I got there and ran into two other friends! So I had a husband and three friends in the class! In a class of 15 people that meant the odds were pretty good that if I did something stupid, not EVERYBODY would make fun of me!
And yes. My husband executed a perfect crane pose and I almost knocked him over intentionally, but all in all? It was GREAT. She did a good job explaining technique which was good because my fear was an instructor who just said, “Get in warrior 2” and I’d just have to look around and cheat off of people. It was tough, but not too tough. She would often say, “If this feels like a good stretch, stay here, if you want more then…” and I never did the rest of what she instructed. I was ALWAYS fine with wherever we were at. I didn’t need to add anything fancy.
I definitely felt very stiff and inflexible, but I could also feel my body REALLY liking the stretching. It was a really small class (the tap room is very small) and I didn’t feel like I was out of place. It was a good energy and I wasn’t too intimidated.
On the walk home we even considered taking some of our weekly-meal-out budget and putting it towards that class/outing instead so we could do it every week. It was a good chunk of Donnie/Kim time in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. I’m very glad I stepped out of my comfort zone.