I’m a sucker for Yoga Today’s free class of the week - as a (poor) student, I can’t afford to practice in a classroom setting as much as I’d like to. In reality, I average about one class a week. Sometimes more, when I can access a good deal on Groupon (in fact, I’m halfway through a 25 class pass to The Hot Yoga Lounge that I got for $25 on Dealfind - woohoo!).
This week, Adi Amar (my favourite person ever, basically) guides a Yogi-level class entitled ‘Sweat for Humanity’. And boy oh boy, did I sweat. Think fast-paced Sun Salutation B’s, balancing, backbends, and a couple random crazy poses thrown in (like side crane, which I totally wasn’t expecting). It’s free this week, so go try it out! I give it the best review one can give (so… 100%, 5 stars, 10/10, A+ - whatever scale you prefer, really).
To go into a long spiel,
because I like the clickety-clack of my hands rapidly typing, Yoga Today was how I started practicing yoga. At my starting weight of 160 pounds, I was self-conscious and terrified of entering a class that I thought would be full of skinny mini girls that could do handstands with ease. In my own class experiences - this isn’t true. There are people of varying body types that can and do practice yoga. It isn’t something that limits itself to the individual best described as skinny, slim or slender. While some poses may be catered to a more athletic or limber individual, the magical thing about yoga is that it is adaptable. There are modifications and there are poses that we can do to maintain the flow of practice, and make it worthwhile. I have stumbled upon the occasional Tumblr (or fitblr, to be more precise) where the girls are too scared of their current weight to enter a class, or begin the practice. I know how you feel. I’ve been there. But to give you all words of encouragement, please don’t wait or limit yourself from fulfilling what you desire doing. It’ll destroy you. If you want to do something, don’t wait to “lose 20 pounds” or don’t wait until you’re “skinny”. To quote the lululemon shopping bag aimlessly hanging on my doorknob - Do it now, do it now, do it now! If you’re afraid of the class setting, start at home until you’re more comfortable. You don’t need to invest in an expensive Manduka mat or $100 lululemon yoga pants. Throw on whatever you have that’s appropriate, buy a cheap mat from a sporting goods store or Wal-mart, download a Yoga Today podcast or free class, buy a DVD, anything really. It’s what I did and a year later, I’m more at peace with myself than I ever have been. It isn’t the weight loss that has made me feel this way. It’s the serenity and alertfulness that I feel internally after every class or at-home practice. It’s the quest into my soul and the self-awareness that has brought me to this point.
Yeah, I still struggle with the person I see in the mirror. I always have. But the negative self-image is beginning to fade. When I flex my arms and see muscle, or when I twist my stomach like so and have actual abs pop out, I glow. There are still flaws. There’s the little pooch covering what would be my lower abs
in a magical, alternate universe. There’s cellulite on my thighs. I have stretch marks from gaining the freshman 15. But I’m more at peace with myself than I ever have been. And I attribute it all to yoga.
To conclude what I thought was going to be a short post (but has instead morphed into a long essay of sorts), don’t let fear inhibit what you desire doing. Whether it’s running, yoga or something crazy like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or learning a new language or visiting a new place - take the steps to implement it. Life is too short to wait.