Last spring I posted a positive experience of going for a run after solely focusing on weightlifting for over a year. I did much better than I expected and felt so buoyed up by the metaphor for life. But what happens when you have the opposite experience?
After learning that his night class was canceled last night, Landon and I made plans to check out a new evening yoga class on campus. Having never made it to a class together, our last attempt being foiled by the gym childcare SOS buzzer going off before class had even begun, I was excited to finally experience a class together + to show him something that I loved.
We found a parking spot and made it up to the class just a few minutes after it’d begun. We slipped into two open spots on the side of the room, unrolled our mats and fell right in sync with the rest of the class. Well, one of us did; I’ll let you guess who.
For an hour, in the closest spot to the mirror I caught glimpses of my growing stomach in a shirt that will be too short in a matter of weeks, my stiff legs and hips that weren’t keeping up with everyone else in the room, and the tears that I knew would fall any second if I didn’t pull it together.
At the end of the class, and once we were out of earshot, I started to share my frustrations with the class and the instructor to Landon. The flow of the class and pose sequence felt arbitrary. The focus felt so predominantly physical, the only mention of breath was during quick instruction between poses to either inhale or exhale. I was missing a greater intention for the class and reminders to open our heart, expand the chest and to release all of our cares from the day. Yoga is such a spiritual and visual experience that without those things it felt like we were only stretching to music.
Without all the glorious layers of yoga that can get me though any class, I was forced to face a few realizations that hurt.
Yoga was supposed to be my thing. Yoga is my thing! It’s gotten me through more phases of life than I can count. But if you had seen me tonight you’d have thought it was my first time. I was without a doubt the worst one in the class. The three other guys in there, let it be known, were also kicking my butt.
I made excuses for it during the class to keep the frustrated tears from falling; “I have 40-50% more blood in my body than any of you, my heart is working double time to keep up! I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant.”
But the real problem was this: I can’t cheat on something and expect it to still be flourishing when I return. Just because yoga is one of my greatest passions, doesn’t mean I have a right to be good at it. Relationships, hobbies, talents, faith; if I’m not taking the time to make those things a priority they’re going downhill. And it’s usually without a peep.
For some hobbies, interests or relationships when you make the realization that this has happened it’s a sign that it’s time to move on. The flute and I, for example, after the 8th grade. But for the right things, when you return to it I believe it should light a fire in your heart that had dimmed or even gone out. For me this is where yoga falls. I feel reminded of my goals with yoga and a new drive to put the time into it so that I can have the positive experiences with class that I’m looking for.
I might be doing worse with it than I thought, but the body is a powerful thing. And I have no doubt that it can and it will get better from here. What was it that I wanted to say to those struggling women on the track back in March? “Just keep going! Keep this up, I promise it gets better.”
I spent a few minutes before we went to pick up Paityn from my cousin googling prenatal classes and was reminded of what seems to be an amazing studio, 3B Yoga, that’s just minutes away. It was a long two years in California not having a single yoga studio in a drivable range, but we’re back in Utah now. And goals of having monthly unlimited passes + pursing a teacher training course are quickly returning.
Wish me luck as I make yoga a bigger priority in my life this fall and winter, growing belly and all. And let me know, what is something you’re wanting to make more time for?
“The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your calling.” Fabienne Fredrickson