Ready for a massive truth bomb? I dislike yoga, A LOT!
I love to exercise and I thrive on pushing myself if I am weight training or running, but when it comes to yoga - I will find every excuse as to why I can’t do it. I have found myself making comments like, “yoga isn’t challenging enough” or “yoga doesn’t get my heart rate up enough”.
But the truth bomb isn't that I dislike yoga, it's that I dislike being uncomfortable.
When I am running or lifting weights, my mind drifts off and I transform into a badass mythical creature throwing weights around. I am only able to see the things I am capable of, the rush behind what I can do - it’s empowering and I like being empowered.
But, when I do yoga - my mind doesn’t go anywhere, I am trapped focusing on all the things I can’t do. It’s just me, my very loud mind, and my completely stiff and unbending body. I can’t touch my toes, I can’t bend sideways, I can’t clasp my hands over my head, I can’t balance, I can’t breathe, and I can’t believe how much I suck at yoga.
When the yoga teacher says, “don’t focus on anyone but yourself, this is your practice…”, I immediately focus on everyone else in the room. In my mind, everyone else is a master yogi, focused, centered, beautiful, glowing... and then there is me, sweating more than I should, panting, grunting and feeling pain in literally every bone and muscle in my body.
Yep. I feel so NOT empowered after a yoga session.
What does that say about Yoga… or me?
Well, for one, it means I need to do more Yoga - and two, the practice of yoga isn’t the problem, I am.
But you know what’s amazing about problems? They have solutions, and sometimes, more than one.
It took me a long time to learn that when something makes me uncomfortable it means I am being pushed to the edge of my comfort zone.
Like most people, meeting that resistance makes me want to turn back and find my safe space, and I have even justified my stopping or avoiding yoga by telling myself things like, “I did the best I could”, or “I will try again tomorrow.”
Minds are powerful, and when I lie to myself about what a great effort I put into a yoga class, it doesn’t make me feel any better. Here’s the thing - I know I am lying to myself because I am never disappointed after yoga, just angry.
How can I feel disappointment when I had no expectations of putting forth any real effort to begin with?
Ten or so years ago, I tried out for American Idol and I made it through the first few rounds. I did everything correct leading up to my audition, and I continued to make my vocal health a top priority throughout the competition rounds. When I was finally let go from advancing any further, I was devastated and truly saddened. Most importantly, I was disappointed. I did not fulfill my hopes or expectations despite giving it my very best effort.
We cannot experience disappointment without defining our hopes and expectations, but we can fail by not even trying.
Did I fail to advance further in American Idol? Absolutely - but not once did I ever see myself as a failure or take it as a sign that I should give up.
But - after every single yoga session, I feel like the world’s biggest failure.
What is the difference? How can two unsuccessful and failed situations yield two entirely different feelings and results?
The difference is where we are in our comfort zones.
We cannot find success without experiencing disappointment, we cannot experience disappointment unless we try, and when we try, we cannot fail.
The difference is that in one scenario I tried - and in the other… I failed to try.
Deborah Maggoch said it best;
“The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment.”
So, in honor of stepping outside of our comfort zone and the all new #REyoga feature in our magazine, I am going to commit to RENEWING my body, RENEWING my mind, and RENEWING my spirit with YOGA.
I chose this youtube channel, and I am committing myself to trying it for the full 30 days (from May 6 to June 5). For me, this challenge is about honoring the importance of what it means to try and earning the right to be disappointed in my trials.
If my words resonated with you, join me on this #REyoga challenge as I push the limits of my comfort zone and turn this trial into a triumph!
Share your journey with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a comment below!
Stay tuned for a special #REyoga feature post - I will be introducing you to an amazing local yogi and sharing her mind, body, and soul wisdom! You can catch a glimpse of her in action in this months magazine!
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