Dear readers, I have a confession.
Here goes: I am not athletic.
It’s true. Not in the least.
The challenges of not being athletic are fairly vast. Specifically, for me, it means I have never been able to find a sport that I really like, or one that I want to stick with (which I need to exercise regularly). Over the years, I’ve tried so many: soccer, softball, basketball, baton twirling (a real sport in 1908s New Jersey), ballet, cheerleading, gymnastics, aerobics, and running (I made the most progress with this one, participating in several races including the Falmouth Road Race twice.)
But none of them felt right. Except walking. I like to walk. But is that really a sport?
Then, a yoga studio opened up less than two miles from my house. A power (AKA hot) yoga studio. I had done yoga before but couldn’t ever find a studio that worked for me. This one was so close–maybe I could go often! Maybe I could be athletic! So, after months of thinking about it, I went. (The thinking about it was necessary because a) yoga can be intimidating and b) see above: I am not athletic.)
I surprised myself with how much I loved it. I even took classes at 6 AM. I loved the effort, the sweat, and the quiet. I loved the ritual. I loved how, despite varying student skill levels, the instructors were so encouraging. I loved the Scottish accent of one of the instructors and found myself completely at peace during his class. I loved the energy of another instructor; his passion for his craft literally made me work harder.
I loved returning home from class and teaching poses to the kids in our living room. I love how my husband encouraged me to go to class–and even suggested I go on days of higher stress.
I struggled with yoga, too. Primarily self-taught, I sometimes couldn’t figure out the poses, or couldn’t position my body in the right way to get maximum impact. The workouts were hard, and remembering to focus on my breath above all else was too much at times. The class was largely filled with zero percent body fat yoga experts, and my not-the-same-after-two-kids body sometimes felt uncomfortable by all that I’m-off-to-Kripalu-for-a-yoga-retreat vibe (I partially countered that by getting some fancy yoga clothes and smiling a lot).
Yet it was rewarding. One class, after many weeks of trying, I got myself into crow pose–and I stayed there. It was a brief moment–seconds really–but it was amazing. I could do it. It was a wonderful feeling.
Alas, I’ve had a hard time getting to yoga this summer. I hope, though, someday to be the woman in the picture, standing on my head. I just have to get back in the studio and practice.
One of my goals from attending BlogHer’13 is to write more often. Writing is a muscle, one of the speakers explained, and the more you use it, the stronger it will become. Therefore, I’ve joined NaBloPoMo this month. NaBloPoMo is a daily (weekends are for free writing) blogging exercise centered around a theme. For August 2013, it’s, appropriately, hot. The daily writing prompts can be found here.