complicated relationship with yoga
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My complicated relationship with yoga

I stopped explaining why I’m ‘not very good’ at yoga, even though I’m their instructor.

Athletic things have always come naturally to me, except with yoga. The awkwardness, clumsiness and lack of mobility never gets better. Yet here I am, a yoga instructor.

Ironically, my lack of grace and ability has been (so I’m told) a relief to students. It’s made me work harder to ensure that my instructional ability, sequences, class flow and group management is top notch. People like my classes! I ditched my disabling belief that I needed to be a visual example – using other ways to lead.

Often times I’d show up to class while a svelte, nimble ex-dancer yoga teacher would direct the yoga sequence, effortlessly demonstrating complicated yoga poses. I applied my “no pain, no gain” mindset and would grit my teeth with pain through the entire class.

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Releasing my Type A personality

For 15 years or more, yoga has been my lifestyle. And yes, my complicated relationship with yoga uses blocks, wobbles, holds the wall in tree pose.

But I’m also an expert, in a way that would be braggable if I were a size 6, aged 20 something (without sports injuries). Ask me to do any sequence, I’ll smash it out using adapted variations. I’ve got Sanskrit knowledge on lock, vegetarian 25 years…even lived at a yoga retreat for a couple of months in India.

Self study and detachment from expectations eventually bought me into ananda, aka ‘the bliss point’. I stopped approaching yoga as a goal orientated thing to do. I started coordinating my breath with my best meditation efforts while trying to hold the poses. From there, I started to feel safe in my ability and above all, happy enough with my experience to do it again tomorrow.

And after years of digging deep asking myself why-the-heck did I suck so much, it finally dawned on me. The reason doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am here, moving my beautiful body in the most soulful way I can.

And tomorrow I’ll do it again.

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