I remember the first moment I walked into a class known as “hot yoga”. Yes, it was hotter than hell or so I imagined. The class was heated to around 102 degrees with about 40% humidity. I managed to last, but honestly wondered how many people passed out, threw up or went to the bathroom and never came back.
I pondered all of those things in the space of 5 minutes. The people were all slim, seriously. There was a mirror on the wall in front of me and I wondered why, whyyyy, would they do that to people wearing next to nothing. And to top it off, a man walked in wearing what seriously was the smallest erm covering ever and put his mat in front of me (More on that later if you want to click the link).
Here’s the thing. I was brand new and it wasn’t about any of these things, but if this was my first experience, I had nothing else to compare it to. So, for those of you who are either nodding your heads, or wondering what happened next, I will help clear some things up.
This particular studio caters to the college students. I didn’t realize that when I signed up as it was close to me and I wanted to see what all the “fuss” was about. The people were very serious in this class and very much unforgiving that particular day. It is not like this everywhere and just to be clear, it is not like this in every class there. The phrase that I later discovered “your vibe attracts your tribe” is also true for yoga studios.
Since I was a beginner, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I tried it again years later at this studio and found that it still seemed not quite the right fit for me personally. I wanted to connect with my body and my breath and I personally couldn’t do that while staring at a mirror. It was way too distracting in this class.
I didn’t want the mirror to be my focus and I found the students body language as well as the instructors seemed to imply that if I didn’t do the pose a certain way, that I was less than somehow and the mirror was just confirmation.
The next place I tried offered Restorative Yoga. Well, the few times I went I really enjoyed it…until I took a friend who couldn’t sit still at all, but that’s another story that I linked here. You have to understand that I was mentally and physically in pain at the time, but I had come to the conclusion that it absolutely couldn’t get any worse (which was actually half right) and that to do nothing was insane (which was 100% correct). So, the art of restoring my body back to the original factory settings appealed to me highly.
We got to use bolsters, which are like pillows, blankets, blocks, straps and pretty much anything we had available to us at the time. I felt very good about the process. After a while of finding my place in this class, I finally decided to take what would become my greatest passion.
The Vinyasa “flow” Class. What fresh hell was this my body whispered? Why are we doing this? My wrists said to me. My brain said “Aww F-this. No. Noooo.” But I sat on the mat with no mirror in front of me and listened as the teacher centered us. I began to move and thought that if I needed a rest surely yoga was the place to find it, right? Well, again. Not all classes are created the same and they shouldn’t be. So, in this flow, it was exactly that. We literally flowed from pose to pose to pose, and I felt like we never stopped.
Again, my body was in the greatest pain it had ever been in at this time anyway, so I felt as if I had nothing to lose and everything to gain…if I could last. It was literally like being on Survivor I thought. I had to pace my thoughts so that I could make it 60 minutes. Could I do this?
The first few weeks, were hard. Down Dog was not my favorite. I actually secretly despised it. Planking. WHY was that ever created in the first place when you could plop down on the damn mat. Why did I want to actually hold myself up? Why? Anyway, all this moaning was only in my head. At least for the most part. I might have told my husband I wasn’t cut out for it.
Then the day happened when my wrists didn’t hurt quite as much, and in a moment of weakness I said yes to signing up for Yoga Teacher Training. So, the truth is, I get it. I really do.
I am not slim…I am curvy, but prefer not to put that label on my style of teaching as that’s just ridiculous. I want to teach yoga that is truly available to every body. Every size, shape, color or anything else you think is holding you back. Are you in pain? I understand. Do you think you are too big busted? I got you covered with modifications and ways to move those girls out-of-the-way. Don’t want to wear yoga pants? Fine, then wear what makes you happy…and ermm covered.
After 200 hours, and days I almost cried from the pain, I graduated from my yoga teacher training. I couldn’t hold myself up at first. Seriously, and had to modify by coming to my knees in down dog, one of the most used poses there seemed to be ever. I had such poor wrists that I couldn’t side plank. And I tried for a year to hold myself up in a pose called crow. I want you to believe me when I say “trust the process”. I additionally became certified in teaching yoga for arthritis and pain. I am now a mindful coach who specializes in getting through this minute to the next, and the next and the next and learning to let go of the things that are holding you back.
I would love to be able to help you with getting control of your thoughts, practicing visualization techniques, and creating affirmations that can help you move ahead with your life.
Available to you here >> Head|Heart|Health Club <<