One of the first things that drew me to yoga were the teachers who didn't sugar coat the process. Maybe it's because I grew up with "tough love".
Let's all be honest, that first vinyasa class probably kicked your a$$ hard. I distinctly remember my wrists and shoulders b.u.r.n.e.d. I thought it wasn't possible to suck more. No forward folds to speak of. Arm balances? What's that? Backbends? In my f*n dreams.
But, I loved it! Finally! I didn't have to run to get fit. The gym rat thing wasn't working for me. Oh, and my first yoga teacher was HOT. I still remember her. Golden honey skin with short wavy hair. She wore a tank top which exposed her lower mid section. She had on loose fitting sweatpants that draped over her legs and her movements flowed with such ease, strength and grace. Her body was tone AF. Wow. I wanted to be her.
While my inspiration to start practicing was very much a physical one, it transcended to other realms of being. It even launched me into the journey of teaching this craft. So, first off, I want to confess that I'm certainly not all rainbows and unicorns. Believe me, I've tried and the shoe doesn't fit. I curse. I bite. I scratch. I can be rough around the edges at times. I will never be that teacher who enables her students, who glorifies mediocrity to make them feel better about themselves. I'm not that gal who speaks of prancing through flower filled meadows during your practice. That warrants a bonafide slap across my face. I will support you and encourage you. But, I will not give praise just because I want your membership.
What DOES float my boat is seeing you show up and doing the best you can that day. It might not feel like much but trust me, I can tell. Energy and effort don't lie. Making your way through struggle reveals depth of character.
I always strive to be in my most light self, however, a sliver of darkness will slice through once in a while. Lately, I've come face to face with her, acknowledging her and hearing her out. We are in this together, the ego and I. We may have our off days. We may have moments when we're triggered by something or someone and our reaction is disproportionate to the actual event.
What yoga and other life changing experiences have taught me are...
- Always look at yourself first
- Breathe deeply
- It's ok to be angry and pissed off; acknowledge those emotions and then it'll have less of a hold on you
- Set boundaries; know who you are and what you stand for and if someone can't respect that, then tell them to f* off
- There's a light and dark side to all of us, some have more light and some have more dark. The dark is not bad. She just needs to be understood so you can manage her better and not let her wreak havoc.
Clarity & Levity.
Handle my $hit. That's why I visit my mat. I'm not here to pretend all is right with the world. I practice to feel better in my body, sooth my soul and empty my mind. I practice so I can be less pissed off. I practice so I don't want to smash your face in. I practice so I can hate myself less and love myself more. I practice so I can let go of my anger. I practice to forgive. I practice to find my breath again and again.
Why do YOU practice?