My First Six Months as a Yogi

As a strength athlete, my body often demands NO and I do it anyway. During yoga when I don’t feel like doing anything, I don’t. But sometimes, I feel energized and I am curious to how discomfort feels in my body and how my heart beat feels. Sometimes I sit with the discomfort and feel the breath move in my body and feel comforted. Maybe the conversation in my head doesn’t have to be an argument. Maybe I can challenge and honor myself.

No one cares what you are doing. I am competitive, but also, I am insecure. Fitness comes easy to me, weight loss does not. I tend to need to justify my size with my abilities. If I can’t be small, I will at least be really good, and I used to try to be better than those around me. But not in yoga. I went to yoga but no one was impressed with my attempts to convey my fitness abilities. They weren’t even looking at me. I was mostly just looking at me.

Yoga is hot, and often sweaty. And my typical large, baggy t-shirt and long pants tends to flip up, get drenched, fall off, or just get way too hot. At yoga, bellies comes out of shirts, butt cracks show, rolls are visible, for everyone. So I wear what is comfortable, not what looks good, or what hides my flaws, because no one is looking at you, and dressing to appeal to them is dumb.

Letting go is hard. You think you have and then you let go a little more and you realize you haven’t. They say “What are you holding onto that doesn’t serve you?”
Letting go is a practice, just like everything else, and the more you do it, the better you get at it. Mentally and physically.

Setting your intention is just something they say until you do. I used to think my intention at yoga was to do yoga. Why am I here right now? My intention is to have fun and to relax. That’s truly why I come. I would love to be an ultra-awesome yogi and post cool Instagram videos of me doing spectacular shit, but that’s not why I’m here right now. And so when I fall, or need to take an extra breath or can’t do something, or start to compare myself to others, I remember my intention and relax and have fun.

I had thought Namaste meant class is over now. Namaste is gratitude; acknowledgment. Namaste is the difference between living room down dog and feeling your neighbors’ energy. Namaste is the teacher responding to the classes’ flow, the personality of the class as its own entity, the contribution the music’s artist makes to our practice, the sound of everyone’s mutual exhales, the beauty of a room full of Warrior II and the steam on the window that belongs to no one person. Namaste. Thank you.


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