Yoga for me had been more a thing I wanted to say I did but didn't really want to do. It really intimidated me because I imagined classes full of ladies with super awesome bodies. I met Melissa Von Ludwig in the locker room of my gym and she has become a great friend and also my yoga ambassador. I told her I did really want to try yoga beyond tapes at home, but was really scared.
Melissa and I had one of those rare instant friendships. We just clicked, and she said I am a fan of the class here on Saturday mornings I will go with you this Saturday. This was such a win win for me, I had someone I felt super comfortable with and I had to show up. Showing up is half the battle for real. When I actually make myself do something it is charming to see that it's not at all as scary as it was in my mind and overall I am an extremely capable person. In the physical activity realm I have found saying to myself I can do anything for a minute, 30 seconds, an hour whatever the time is when I start to panic is very calming. Once I got over being a yoga newbie and started to be able to grow from it I learned a lot of important lessons. Yoga helped me with body image, like strength training it helped me focus on what my body could do and not what it looked like. Melissa who has done yoga for eons praised my flexibility and told me of her own struggles being an avid cyclist with tight hamstrings. It helped me stop comparing myself to other people and start owning my own body and practice. I look at other people in class if I get lost, but I don't look to them as a comparison. We all have our own strengths, weaknesses and histories that inform your capabilities.
Yoga also helped quiet what I refer to as the worried voice I was in a place where I was just starting to trust the new skills I was learning. I was just sort of moving to life beyond disordered eating, and recovery and identifying myself with those two things. I was worried all the time about relapse, about unhealthy behaviors creeping back in. Yoga helped me quiet that voice and appreciate the present and focus on what I can do in the present. I can not get to the size I want to be tomorrow, but what can I do right now. More importantly how can I best enjoy my life? The best thing about leaving disordered eating behind is all the time you regain. I have regained portions of my brain that were entirely devoted to eating, dieting, worrying about my size, and a whole host of other food/weight related topics. This section of my brain I have regained control of and I focus now on not aspiring to be cured because I never will, but the best way I can manage this to keep that section for me and what I want to use it for. If you want to heal, or change in a way that is beyond a hair color you have to humble yourself and let go of a lot of your ego.
A yoga instructor said to the class once, "Yoga is not about gratifying the ego, it's about gratifying the body, and it should not feel comfortable, if you are pushing yourself and doing things which will make you see change it should not be comfortable or easy." These are some wise words which can be applied to a lot of aspects of weight loss. Are you working out for your ego or your body? Are you comfortable but frustrated you are not seeing changes? These are things you have to be vigilant about. It never gets easy, and it's never comfortable, but the great news is the confidence you gain learning these new skills giving you the ability to cope and thrive in the challenges and discomfort.
Thank you to Melissa for bringing yoga and spinning into my life and for doing the FitPerez.com video with me! She is a fabulous teacher, friend, and all around person. She is also a practicing vegan and has a unique approach to educating people on her vegan ways, so check out her site: http://site.themeatyvegan.com/