May 20, 2011

2 Year Yogaversary

Two years ago today, I entered my very first Bikram yoga class.  I was nervous, intimidated and felt completely out of place. During the class I thought everyone around me was absolutely insane. I was back the next day and the one after that and the one after that. During my 2 week introductory pass, I practiced 10 times. When my Oma passed away, 3 weeks later, I went to the hot room.  I've laughed hysterically in class. I've bawled my eyes out. I've gotten so angry I've wanted to chuck my water bottle at the mirrors.  I've been so distracted that I've gone through a class without hearing a single word the teacher has said. I've also been so focused that I felt like I rule the world.

I sat down the other day and wrote out every way that my life has changed since I started my Bikram yoga practice.

What has my yoga practice done for me?
- I am stronger.
- I am more flexible.
- I have more compassion for myself.
- I sometimes have less compassion for others. (I say this is a positive change because I have a tendency to want to help everyone and thus, get walked on by those around me. I have learned to stand up for myself just a little more.)
- I have more confidence.
- I have reshaped my body.
- I competed in the BYS yoga competition of 2010. Yes, I did. The girl who used to be so self conscious I would wear flowly, unflattering shirts to hide my body.
- I feel as though I am truly capable of anything.  I am a super woman!
- I have gained the confidence to try different workouts and sports.
- I feel like I belong to a community.  A community where I am completely welcomed with open arms and a place I can go whenever I want - no matter how I'm feeling or what frame of mind I am in.
- I am actively working on trying to find my inner peace when I get in stressful situations - sometimes it works better than others, but I’m aware of it now!
- I truly believe that yoga can heal the mind body and spirit.
- I believe that yoga is for everyone!  Fat, skinny, young, old, injured, in top physical shape, yoga can do nothing but good.
- I have quit smoking
- I am much more aware of how food affects the way I feel. Ice cream at 11 o'clock at night does not make for a good sleep!
- I no longer have constant lower back pain.
- I no longer have upper back pain.
- I don't have any more knee pain.
- I have better posture, most of the time. It's all about becoming aware. So that when I am slouching I realize it sooner than I would have pre-yoga
- I am less intimidated by beautiful people. Honestly this was one of the biggest hurdles I had about trying Bikram yoga.  The thought of putting myself next to these gorgeous half naked people intimidated the hell out of me. I was so worried that I would be judged or not accepted!  I realize now that no one is judging you in that room except for yourself and that it's time to let that go.  You are there being good to your self - that is all that matters.
- This is the first time I’ve ever had a passion for something - turns out this passion is for myself.
- To relax, has a brand new meaning.  When I relax, lay in the sun all day and read a book, I feel as though I am truly relaxed, there is a sense of peace that I never knew was there before.

Most importantly, I have learned that yoga practice is all about the journey.  It is about broadening your awareness of your self - there should be no judgment through this journey - you are awakening and learning every day - you learn from your teachers, your peers, your children, your partners - above all you learn from the most important person in your life - You!

Photo by the lovely SDP


L said...

happy yogaversary/Bikram b-day, miss J! woot!

i like how you've listed all the changes, it's amazing to look at how different, how better things are with yoga.

you're inspiring me to do the same :)

hope you're celebrating!

YoginiBear said...

You are an inspiration, J! I feel blessed to have you in my world, inside and outside the hot room. Congrats, and celebrate!

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful. At least 5 minutes of compassion writing that piece. It is difficult to imagine anything else that could have that much power over improving ones life.
And you have given that gift, that opportunity to others, by getting your mum and baby brother to try yoga too.
love you.

Anonymous said...

Je t'aime, tu me manques xxx