Yoga, It Might Actually Help

Did we think - even three months ago - that I was going to roll into this next season of my life as a budding little yogi?

No, duh.

But! Here we are.

Suddenly I'm going to yoga two to three days a week, learning how to touch my toes, and what a downward dog really looks like. Plot twist I am really really loving it.

Arguably, that alone is a bit of a surprise.

And as much I would like to think I go into all things with an open mind and open heart - that is just not always the case. This though, this was different. Once I plucked up the courage, it was just as simple as, I am going to yoga. I wasn't setting up expectations for myself, or what I would find there. I was simply going to go.

What I found was that my heart really needed yoga.

How many of you just rolled your eyes and said, "oh here we go?" Hear me out.

From what I can tell so far, yoga is about moving through a practice that encourages your body to feel it's own strength, and utilize it's own energy to cultivate or release something within you.

The show of physical strength is obvious through the majority of any practice. Though I'm not breaking out a Firefly anytime soon, it's the simplicity in things as "basic" as a plank, that remind you it is all about what your body can do.

That is transposed against the notion of deciding what you want to embrace, or focus on, during your practice.

Or, in my case, more often than not it is about what I want to let go of during my practice. Whatever I choose to set aside, to say shut up to, or to leave outside the studio - that is entirely up to me. And it is that choice, that focus, that brings in the element of softness.

Though it probably wasn't until I had been going for about a month that this dichotomy showed up for me, once it did, it was as if it had been in my peripherals for weeks.

Strength and softness.

While it is not always obvious, I've been trying to be pretty strong over the last five months or so. This fall, and even the start of this winter have been hard. Unbelievably hard. It's been a lot of I'm fine and I'm just exhausted. 

And yes, let's include heartbreak here, but I don't want to give it all the credit.


I've been trying to be pretty strong.

But the reality is, that strength, it takes constant effort. And even when I feel like I'm throwing my whole body into the notion of strong, and okay, and making it work - it often doesn't feel like I am that strong.

So, the softness.

The notion of their duality in one hour of my life, two or three times a week, it helps. It's not gonna fix me in two months of yoga. But when I give myself that whole hour - to choose strength and softness - I leave feeling just a bit better.

My practice is nothing close to perfect. I still have runner's calves. I still can't touch my toes without bending my knees. My improving.

But I feel like I've maybe put myself ( maybe just a big toe, but not my whole self quite yet,) into a new community, and sister, whoa did I need it.

I needed blanket acceptance for what I was going to bring to this party. I needed understanding that not everything I do is going to work. I needed the notion that we can be practicing our strength and finding that we have to embrace softness at the same time.

Whoa, did I need it.

And, shout out to all of you folks that have reached out about this yoga endeavor. Because some of you have just said, yay! and I feel the same. And some of you have said, yikes! and I feel that too.

Let me add this: if you think you might wanna join, give me a shout. Because I promise, I will look weird in class too. I am nervous too. I am awkward in new places too. But, it's totally worth it.

Namaste, y'all.

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