My heart pounded and my legs trembled as I sank deeper into eagle pose, covered from head to toe in sweat. I looked at my sister-in-law- and mouthed the words “I hate you”. She nearly fell out of her “eagle” giggling. Michele had convinced me that hot yoga was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’ll try anything once, I thought, but the thought of being in a super hot room whilst sweating profusely, sounded absolutely nauseating to me.
Nevertheless, I begrudgingly agreed to try a free community class at Grace and Glory Yoga on a Sunday afternoon in September.
And now here I was, all twisted up like a pretzel, shaking, drenched, definitely smelling like toxic waste, and yet weirdly happy.
“This is strange,” I thought, “I hate sweating. Not like a “love-hate” sweating either. I hate-hate (triple hate) sweating. I also turn away from almost any physical activity, aside from dance. Another thing I am not fond of is humidity... and the other people’s bodily fragrances... and…”
I had an entire list of things that I loathed about the thought of taking this class that I had been telling myself since she first brought it up, but those excuses all seemed to melt away within one hour. How could this be?
I’d tried going to the gym about one hundred and forty seven times. It served its purpose, I suppose, but no matter how hard I tried,
I couldn’t find the motivation to be consistent.
I tried great music, audiobooks, podcasts, etc, but after a few months, I just fizzled out. It frustrated me to no end. My husband, on the other hand, would set up camp under the weight bench if they let him. He couldn’t let more than a day go by without going to the gym. He inspired me. Plus let’s be real, he had a hot bod. I wanted to be that way too!
I had recently stopped teaching dance and knew that I needed to replace that daily exercise in my life, but I just couldn’t get into going to the gym like he did, and so I validated this long-standing, crazy-strong belief that I had about myself: I was an inconsistent person. I wasn’t capable of being consistent.
That’s just who I was.
That powerful belief grew on a daily basis. Every time I changed direction on something, justifiable or otherwise, I would water that plant and watch it grow to extraordinary levels. See, Chris? This is another example of how inconsistent you are. I associated myself for years with just being inconsistent. It was “just who I was”. This belief permeated almost every area of my life and truly left me feeling a failure, most days.
The interesting thing is that since, like Mylie Cyrus, I too cannot be tamed (not even by myself), I decided to attempt to break my own mold. I knew that if I could just prove myself wrong and remain consistent with one thing, it would mean that everything I thought about myself was a lie and that I was perfectly capable of being consistent in anything, which could eventually translate to everything.
And so my journey with yoga began.
It has been a year since I walked into that studio and I have walked through the door at GGY so many times, I’ve lost count. I started practicing to simply create one consistent habit in my life, but what I have gotten is so much more. I no longer believe that debilitating lie, because I proved myself oh, so wrong. I created consistent habits in my exercise, at home, in my organization, in my spirituality, and in virtually any and every area that I could find.
I am NO master, but I am a work in progress and I learned something very cool while learning about and practicing yoga. I learned that my beliefs are simply stories that I tell myself, based on my own life experience. Each class, we’re challenged to “drop the story”. It took me months to really understand what that meant and how it translated to my life, but the moment that it did, everything changed.
I stopped letting my judgy and simple-minded inner voice tell me what to think, and feel, and believe, and began opening my perspective to so much more.
Unfortunately, I don’t have enough space in this column (or even in Shore Local Newsmagazine) to tell you every way that yoga has changed me, but my mind is clear, my focus is sharp, my body is strong, I have less pain and more energy, and I am proud of myself... for the first time...maybe...ever. Whoa. Different story for a different day- onward!
To celebrate this year of intense change and growth and to spread the peace, love, and good vibes, I’m hiring a yoga teacher from Grace and Glory Yoga to close out #rockstarsummer2019 for us, by teaching an early morning yoga class on the beach this Saturday! I’m going to take in the vastness of the ocean, the cool sand, and the salty ocean air with my team… and perhaps with you, my beloved Shore Locals!
If you love yoga, come out and practice with us!
If you have never tried yoga, or tried it years ago and haven’t practiced since, even better! This has been such an amazing year and I know that you can have a year of growth like mine as well,
If you just show up and see what’s possible.
Until next week, Shore Locals, I’m sending you peace, love, and good vibes, from my yoga mat in the sand to your’s!
To register for this free beach yoga experience,
*BONUS!!!! All registered good vibe seekers will be entered for a chance to win a 40 day membership to Grace and Glory Yoga! All participants must register prior to event.