Last night, I began a new session of Curvy Yoga. It’s been a couple of months since I last took a yoga class, and I was so excited to get started again. I’m not a very athletic person, I hate sweating, and I’m not flexible at all, but I love yoga. It challenges me in a way nothing else does. My body struggles to stay in poses at time due to my horrible balancing skills, and each class turns into a mental struggle. I can’t count how many times I’ve wanted to just disappear from class, or walk out and go straight to the nearest ice cream shop. Yoga forces me to appreciate my body and what it CAN do, even if my poses aren’t “perfect” by other people’s standards. Yoga allows me to make my practice my own, and set my own standards.
Once class begins, I don’t really look around to my classmates. I look at my instructor for guidance on the poses, and then I often close my eyes as I settle into the pose. It helps me focus on my breath, and check in with my body. While I’m aware of the parts of my body that are sore or resisting the pose, I also try to remember to be grateful that my body can yoga. My fluffy, inflexible, nonathletic body can survive a yoga class. I can take 1.5 hours per week to put away the cell phone, forget about work, and just focus on my body and myself. Yoga is therapy for me. It allows me to see the big picture and focus on the overall progress and practice instead of the little challenges of the poses.
Last night, the class was held in a different (to me) room, and there were more mirrors than usual. Which meant that when I went into downward-facing dog, I could look into the mirror behind me and see my ass. The one that has steadily been getting bigger over the past few months, thanks to several dalliances with Ben & Jerry’s (seriously, guys, I’m still mourning the loss of Bonnaroo Buzz). I knew that I should have focused on my pose, but once I saw how large my ass is, I just wanted to go fetal on my mat.
But I didn’t.
I went back to looking at the big picture that kind of included my ass, but focused more on the fact that I was there, able to keep up with the poses, and that my brain wasn’t buzzing with stress.
This morning, I realized that I need to do the same thing with my writing. I get so caught up with what to write, how to write, language, being frustrated that I can’t always access my creative spark when I want/need to, and all of the normal struggles with writing, that I just don’t write. Or when I do, I’m too critical of it, and hide it away from the world. I need to recognize that as long as I’m honoring my creativity, it’s all beautiful.
So, that’s the goal. For today, anyway. Just write and stop focusing on the imperfections. And then try it all again tomorrow.