Yoga + Vulnerability : How Yoga Accidentally Transforms You
I've been trying to get my close friend Natalie to go to yoga for years. She kept telling me, "I'm sorry, but I hate yoga." I accepted it. It's cool. Yoga is not for everyone, and I totally get it. I didn't like yoga at first either. However, recently, she's been attending yoga classes here and there, and TODAY, I received this glorious text:
Naturally, I'm beaming with SO MUCH JOY. It's an incredible feeling when someone you love connects with something that you love. Yoga is a huge part of my life, and now I can share it with her. I started thinking... so, what changed? What didn't she like before that she likes now?
Thinking back to when I first tried yoga, I remember feeling uncomfortable in more ways than one. I couldn't handle the silence (it made me bust out in laughter, which was embarrassing for me). Downward-Facing Dog felt all sorts of wrong, and the pace seemed too slow for my taste. I was very antsy, and kickboxing was more my style.
But then, something changed. Yoga found me a few years later at a time of uttermost vulnerability. The same goes for Natalie, who has been dealing with some really tough shit. I guess when she was invited to yoga this time around her thoughts were, "why the hell not?".
WORKING THROUGH THE AWKWARD
When you're new to yoga, the poses can feel awkward. You might feel like you're doing it wrong, but that's just because your body isn't used to it yet. I felt awkward (and definitely looked it) in barre class the other day, because I knew for a fact my form wasn't correct, and I wasn't working the correct muscle groups. You know what, though?! THAT'S OKAY. There's a learning curve, and if you stick with it you'll see how it transforms you. The day that holding Down Dog feels restorative rather than an intense arm workout is a day you'll rejoice. You can really measure your own progress and self-growth through your yoga practice.
HOW YOGA TRANSFORMS
- Yoga is not just a form of exercise // Think about all of the meditative breathing you are doing and how incredible that is for managing stress. Inhale the good. Exhale the bad.
- It connects you with your physical and spiritual body and makes you incredibly self-aware.
- Teaches mindfulness for yourself and for others. // Moving with control and not rushing through the movements can affect you in your day-to-day life. Patience. Mindfulness. Grace.
- It challenges you to face the silence and quiet your mind. // Silence can be quite noisy, and it is normal for your mind to wander. Overtime, you might find yourself solely focusing on your practice and forget everything else. Be here now.
- It slows you down, so you can REFLECT. // Without reflection, there is no growth.
There's nothing more intimate than being left alone with your thoughts. Although there is a calming peacefulness to it, it is tough stuff.
LASTLY: Yoga helps you appreciate all that your body does for you. It is your vessel, so treat it with love and respect. Do not tear yourself a part by little cosmetic things. Got cellulite, stretch marks, jiggly bits? Sounds good. You're beautiful.
Have a lovely week ahead, amigitas!