One of the good things for me about doing yoga is the non-competitiveness of it. I have spent a lot of my life feeling klutsy and bad at sports, and I finally have found a way to move my body where I’m not at risk of losing. When I was in middle school, I was placed in an “adaptive P.E.” class. It was me, another similarly clumsy smart girl, and 2 older kids with Down Syndrome. We threw balls at targets, walked on balance beams, caught bean bags. It was awful, as if regular P.E., they gave it to me as an intervention. I remember feeling so frustrated. That clumsy 12 year old is sometimes alarmingly close to the surface of my everyday adult life. I cried a few weeks ago in Yoga class, because I couldn’t do “Dancer’s Pose”- which is where you stand up, reach back, kick your foot up and grab it, then lean forward, balancing.
I went to class the next week though, and managed to find my foot after asking for help from Kristin, who’s awesome. www.lovelandyogacorefitness.com I’m still not great at the balancing part, but I get stronger every time.
I had a realization today, in the shower (don’t all great realizations come in the shower?) that I shouldn’t be doing yoga to get better for next week’s class, but to get better for life. See, when I couldn’t find my stupid foot, I made plans to practice holding my foot back, grabbing it, leaning forward, then I felt guilty when I didn’t follow that plan. A lifetime of experience with gym teachers gave me the idea that I should throw balls at targets to improve my eye hand coordination, or do squats to have stronger glutes, or run faster so that I can … run faster.
I need to try to keep the idea before me that I walk because walking helps me think, and dancing is fun, and riding a bike feels good, and yoga gives me peace. I can’t blame the gym teachers- maybe they were trying to teach me this all along, and I wasn’t ready for it. They found joy in war ball? doing the shuttle run gave them time to think, doing jumping jacks brought them peace? Maybe.
So, what is your favorite way to move your body now? What did you hate in gym class? Bonus points if the answer is the same, but the attitude has changed…