One of the reasons I gave up yoga in the dark days was because of my weight gain. When you’re used to doing a fairly advanced level of yoga and you step away, you expect to come back tight and needing to ease back into your practice. What I didn’t anticipate was the affect gaining weight would have on me both mentally and physically.
Age, weight, and time have all created the need for me to go back to a beginner level, complete with blocks, bolsters, blankets and straps. My weight prevents me from getting into the poses no matter how flexible I become. I can’t lay my body on my legs when my stomach is in the way. Worst of all, if I push too hard it impacts my ability to breathe properly and that’s what the practice is all about. I will also develop cramps if I try positions I have no business being in. (Wow – two sentences that ended in a preposition…I’m slipping.)
Anyway, after I began to really move through recovery, I decided to ignore the above obstacles (in spite of the prepositions) and just jump back into the practice. I’m very glad I did. Even though I have to fight off self-defeating thoughts and images of myself, far larger than I actually am, moving through space I keep going. It’s been worth every minute and I love waking early or getting home at night to practice. Throw in a little meditation and it’s all good.
Now I have another challenge. Practicing outside of my home. Let’s ignore the fact that yoga is expensive when done in a studio. Let’s just focus on the fact that there are other people in the room and none of them look like me. Nor are they all thin, fit yogi’s but I have yet to run into one that is as large as I am. It makes me self-conscious during my practice and makes it difficult to get out of my own head.
But I keep trying. Thanks to a Groupon I have 10 sessions at a studio close to my home. It’s a good studio and even though I’ve only been to three sessions so far, everyone has been wonderful. The instructors are what instructors should be, concerned with where you are in your practice, not where you (or anyone else) thinks you ought to be. They are focused on the breath. They help you find the light. They are not the problem.
As usual…I am.
But I’m going to a deep stretch tonight and I’m going to try and get out of my own head because the fact is that I learn so much when I do a session with a real, live teacher and I want to make the most of my Groupon. Plus, I need to learn to find comfort somewhere other than a bottle of wine and I’ll never find it if I don’t get uncomfortable from time to time.