My inability to relax has always hindered my ability to enjoy yoga. I’ve always had trouble slowing down, physically and mentally; and well, yoga is just plain as passive as it gets.
Until I stepped out of my comfort zone.
From my first day in a yoga studio, ever, Derric Harris’ 10AM Vinyasa class is the only yoga class I
can get through without being bored genuinely enjoy*; the only class I have been able to ‘let go of the crap’ in. While his class isn’t immune to my running mind, the smoothness of the class and vocal commands have made me feel at home from the get go.
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After my injury – and giving my inability to slow down, this was a long time coming – it’s been a decent struggle to stay positive – especially about my body and feeling like I’m losing strength. As usual, I try and overcompensate; pretending it doesn’t bother me when it does. Hell, half this city is gearing up for the NYC Marathon, and my version of firing up my heart-rate is 20 minutes of light biking and walking to the freezer to get a bag of ice
and watching Nashville because that Deacon Claybourne…
Since hanging up my shoes, I’ve reverted back to challenging myself with the standard,’stepping out of your comfort zone.’ My comfort zone gets nowhere near low-impact exercise. So I started by signing up for Yoga (again), Pilates (GAHHHH!), and Ballet Body (ugh).
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This morning, as I rolled out my mat and laid down to think last thoughts before my class as the prodigal [yogi] daughter, I prayed to God my leg would hold out for this class. I worried how ridiculous I looked in spandex shorts and a brace, and how novice I appeared to others in the class, despite having gone to several of Derric’s classes before.
Then class began with a story as we sat, eyes closed, with hands and hearts surrendering to the stars.
* * *
“An agreement is a contract between two people; two parties. In order for a contract to be viable, both parties must sign it. So it doesn’t matter what people think or say about you. If you don’t sign off on it, it is not truth.”
Derric talked about how everything in life is an agreement – even thoughts you have about yourself. The way you look at yourself, feel about yourself, talk about yourself…have you signed off on it? Do you agree? Is it truth? Or just noise.
Five minutes was all it took to find mental clarity for the other 55 minutes. It was the strongest I’ve felt in two weeks, let alone in a yoga class.
* * *
On Wednesday I went to my first ever Ballet Body class: 60 minutes of barre work to focus on strengthening and lengthening the legs and core. Having gone alone, I was horrified at the idea of being amongst a class of tall, slender and beautiful girls surrounding my short, stocky and inflexible body.
While my heart was running at 150 MPH, I kept repeating to myself that I can only get better if I’m challenged. My stubbornness led me to this running hiatus, and I had to change to see change.
That night, learning to be in the moment – looking at all the different people, different levels and different body types – I was reminded that all that truly matters if being at peace with yourself. There is really some lucidity in remembering that your journey is your own. Sure, some may have it better, but some have also have it worse, all you will know is your life; your truth.
* * *
Looks like Saturday morning yoga is going be a regular thing.
*disclaimer: I have not attended many different classes