The Other Side of Yoga

I remember looking at insane yoga poses online and in magazines and thinking it looked like fun. I mean, ever since I’ve been young I’ve wanted to be able to do the splits and as I got older I wanted to increase my flexibility.

There are tons of reasons people want to get into yoga. Some want to get stronger, some want a better body, some want increased movement. I mostly wanted it because I wanted to be able to be more flexible and wanted abs-whatever floats your boat and gets you on the mat.

But the thing is, from all of the things I heard about yoga, I thought it would be a totally awesome experience. I thought I would flow, enjoy, and then stand up from the practice with a flat, perfect stomach. But when the video began and I started going through the movements I realized something:

This shit is hard!

My arms shook, my legs trembled, and I didn’t feel peace of mind at all. I was tired, and annoyed with the instructor because she would hold the positions for so longggg. Half-hour in, she was telling me to go back into down dog for what felt like the thousands time, and I remember thinking something along the lines of stop putting me in this position you cunt. I couldn’t believe I had such a thought, even though I was mostly joking, when I was supposed to be in such a graceful state.

I expected to go into it and rock it, but I didn’t. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was. I ended up having a much deeper appreciation and respect for the people who did it and made it look so easy.

The reason I wrote this post is because I stopped doing yoga for awhile because I didn’t think I was doing it “right”. I felt like the yogi articles I read all talked about how peaceful they felt doing it, and my thoughts were anything but zen. A simple egotistic thought kept me from a truly amazing thing for years. You don’t need to be crazy flexible, strong, or monk-like in order to grab a mat and get on the ground. You just need yourself. There are tons of beginner videos on Youtube. Tara Stiles and BOHO Beautiful have great things for beginners.

Don’t give up on something just because you think it’s hard or because you move through the positions like a clunky mess, while the instructor moves like a perfect wave. It will get easier, you will increase your flexibility, and you will feel amazing once you are done. The most important part is to just not be so hard on yourself. It’s a wonderful thing to get into. Don’t let fear of not being sure what you’re doing keep you from starting. All of those people you see who are amazing at it now were once clunky messes too.

Just don’t take it-or yourself-too seriously. Have fun with it. Try to hold the poses for as long as possible, and if you stumble just laugh and try again. The only person judging you is yourself, so let go of that and enjoy the fact you are pushing yourself to try something new.

I hope you all have an amazing dayyy!

Much love–Callie ❤

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