Today I’m going to write about what a month of yoga has done for me.
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I started yoga on June 28 through the suggestion of my dad. My dad is a heavy yoga advocate (although he doesn’t practice right now because of a shoulder injury). He used to do Bikram yoga religiously during the 2010s. His record was 60 days straight. He is as flexible as he is strong.
I have am not usually an active person. I am an indoor person at heart. I learned to read before I could learn to properly run (heck, I’m not sure I can properly run now). I’m not that kid who played sports in high school. I have never been comfortable and confident with my body. I’ve exercised and I have exercised extremely and consistently in a former time in my life. But I have never exercised healthily.
I have never exercised with the actual intention of being healthy. I exercised in the past with the intention of oh I want to look hot, attractive, my best, thin, sexy which is when you think about it… sad. There is nothing wrong with being all of the above, but personally it’s terrifyingly detrimental to my self-esteem (more about in another post).
It’s the first time I want to exercise with the intention of getting stronger. With intentions of progress and possibly even mastery. It’s the first time I’ve been in a class where I’m not thinking of the circumference of my waist but the strength of my core. Where I thought of how long I can hold a pose rather than how good I looked in it. Where I can look or not look at a scale and not care about the number.
It took me 2-3 years to have courage and find the right place and right intention to exercise which is why I’m so pleased that I could keep it up and that I want to continue doing it.
This quote floats around a lot.
“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice. Give it 12 weeks. Don’t QUIT!”
At 4 weeks, I actually do notice. I’m starting to enjoy poses that I hate (even downward dog). I can hold stretches longer and deeper than I have before. I can actually feel the composition of my body changing. Places are firmer where they used to be soft. Parts of me tighter and sucked in where they used to droop. Muscles forming and fat melting.
But the best part is that I don’t care about that. I just want to do it because it’s fun! I like the actual exercise. I like learning about the subculture. I love the weird words and the daily aphorisms that inspire me. It is truly a mind and body practice.
Here are the gems of wisdom I’ve learned after a month of yoga.
- “You do not get inflexible and weak after one day. It takes weeks, months and years for your body to get that way. It will take time to get it back.”
- “Root to rise.”
- “Find your expansion.”
- “Everything starts in the breath.”
- “Can you observe your body without judgement?”
- “Discomfort is not necessarily pain. Can you let it pass?”
- “Give yourself self-love, self respect and self acceptance. If you cannot love, respect and accept yourself, how can you expect to give it to others?”
P.S. I accomplished my Te mins. You know the drill.