I guess I should start by stating a very important, and obvious, thing.
I’ve always been one of the least athletic people in my circle. I have fond memories of tripping and falling in grade school, and having the teacher tell my parents that I should never pursue sports. No coordination. When I was in high school, I wanted to play volleyball and tried out for the team. I was awful. But so determined that the coach put me on the bench, under the condition that during practices, I would volley basketballs. That’s right. Basketballs. I wanted it so badly that I used to do it in my bedroom, or bounce the ball off the wall. By grade 12, that ball would fly just about anywhere on the court that I wanted it to go. It was magical. Painful. But magical.
Why are these things important. I’m VERY clearly not athletic. Lord have mercy. But what I lack there, I bring ten fold in RIDICULOUS amount of stubbornness. Keep that here for a moment and let’s fast forward.
About four years ago, I went through the hardest period in my life. I had just started my own brokerage AND moved into a brand new house that I originally purchased as an investment but then had to move into because the laws changed. I worked out daily, but nothing took the edge off. I’d still come home with a tight chest, no appetite, and thoughts that were completely out of control. SO, like any millennial would do, I went and bought some crystals and tried yoga. I wasn’t there to “yoga” if I’m being honest. I was there, just to be. Escape my thoughts, soak in the heat, and move. For a year and a half, that’s all I did with my practice. Never signed up for a membership. Just dropped in here and there to escape. And honestly, there is NOTHING wrong with that.
Two years later, I moved to Burlington. Tried a class at my local studio (Power Yoga Burlington), and for whatever reason this time, I committed fully. I didn’t feel out of place. I didn’t feel judged, even though I no longer could hide in the back corner of the class like I used to. The energy in that studio was addictive. Every. Single. Instructor inspired me to show up, and CHANGE my definition of showing up. No longer just showing up just to be. So imagine my horror, when COVID shut down my sanctuary, and brought with it a ton of anxiety.
I messaged Aneta (the awesome owner of my new yoga home) and finally admitted “I’ve been resisting yoga at home, but I am going to give it a shot.” I did it in my office, on the deck, by the pool. I committed to getting on my mat every day, without judgement, and giving myself an hour of uninterrupted peace, and community.
When the studio finally opened again, I had a completely new appreciation for physically showing up in a heated studio. But what actually forced me to transform, was when they were forced to limit participation in class. Every time I signed up for a class, I had to remind myself that this spot can be ANYONE else’s. Someone else could show up and do handstands and wheels. They could be giving it 200% for this community, and if I’m going to take that away from them, I better match that, at the very least. I decided that if I show up, I am saying yes to EVERYTHING. Wheel? Yes. Crow? Yes. Gorilla? I mean…I can barely grab my ankles, but YES! During a particularly hot class, we moved into a standing split. My left leg up, my right foot planted on my mat and my knee bent. I remember VERY clearly, asking myself, what would happen if I straightened my bent leg? I’ve always been convinced I’m not flexible, my hamstrings are too tight. But as soon as the question popped up in my head, I played. I pushed..and wouldn’t you know it…my leg was straight. My hamstrings didn’t tear, I didn’t fall on my face…NONE of the scenarios in my head happened. That day I came home and, inspired, I convinced myself that if I can straighten my leg, I can do birds of paradise. No matter how imperfect. And to my ABSOLUTE SHOCK, I did! I couldn’t wait to try it out in studio. The day that I finally felt the bottom of my feet with my hands in gorilla, I panicked. My feet felt cold. And within seconds I realized, I had NEVER stood on my hands before. A year ago if you had asked me to do it, I would have laughed and laughed and laughed. And here I was, hands under my feet, smiling ear to ear. It was beautiful.
We have SO many self imposed limitations that guide our lives. You’re told something when you’re young and you subconsciously let it guide you. You try something once and you fail, and the thought of failure again just holds you back from trying again.
What yoga has taught me, is that saying YES to YOURSELF (as much as we say yes to others), opens you up to a WORLD of possibilities. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. I truly believe that. And the only way we can actually understand our power, is to stop denying ourselves of our fullest potentials. By accepting the AWESOMENESS that lives within us and is just waiting for OUR permission to shine through.
I’m so thankful that Aneta and her incredible team saw my potential, and give me the tools to get there, every time I show up on my mat. It has changed how I view yoga, myself, and my purpose, beyond anything I could have ever dreamed. And for that I am forever grateful.
Say YES. Do something you haven’t done before. If you’re inspired, come and flow with us! At home, with your fur babies, and a community that supports you from the tip of your beautiful head to the bottom of your awesome toes.