As I rolled out my mat in the humid, crowded yoga studio I could feel myself dripping with icky insecurity. Before even coming to class my no-fail self tanning application from yesterday had clashed with mom cleaning detail resulting in snowy white hands and drip marks running up my arms from repeated, inevitable hand washing. Wasn’t the point of the tanner in the first place because everything looks better with a tan and, Hey, if you can’t tone it tan it? In addition, somehow my back had broken out overnight. What’s up with the flashbacks to boarding school puberty circa 2000?
Sardines, I feel like a sweaty streaked sardine. Stop thinking. Breathe, be present.
All around me are cute little spandex nothings and strappy bralettes. I wonder whether any of the yoga nymphs around me, with their lithe bodies, have had children. I too want to wear the freeing attire. In all honesty it would be more comfortable through this sweaty experience but I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge dear old Ego, vainly recalling my pre-motherhood hot bod. I remember my mother informing me frequently that she had sacrificed her great figure for my brother and I, which was only fractionally true but still encapsulated in my memory nonetheless. I think of my own figure, my “problem area”, my C-shelf. I feel flabby.
Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Breathe, be present. Your body is a beautiful, strong vessel that produced twin miracle babies just over two years ago. Show it some respect. It is beautiful in its current state especially with its battle scars of life. Those beauties around you have their own stories and their own bodies, as you have yours. A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.
Clear your mind. Focus on your breath. Crap, somehow I have the wrong foot forward in my crescent lunge. How long have I been like this?
Refocus. This is yoga. Stop the shallow thoughts, stop the negativity, stop being so damn hard on yourself.
I feel out of place. I haven’t been to yoga all that much lately. Meanwhile the girl in front of me is popping into a handstand before every single downward dog. I didn’t even know that was a thing. I’m just hoping I don’t end up getting kicked in the face because that would be awkward. I’d probably end up face down in a puddle of someone else’s sweat.
REFOCUS. This is ridiculous. This is yoga. This is the farthest place my mind should be at this point in time. My mind is a traitor, rambling on and on with negativity diarrhea.
BREATHE. In. Out. Slowly, deeply. In. Out. Repeat.
I realized that while my mind had gone totally rabid my body had been carrying me through this grueling class. Solid and true, inherently knowing the flow even though I have been out of practice lately. Cultivated by years and years of practicing with intention, my muscle memory knew the moves. I realized, I had my own back and being a bit out of practice and a mommy pooch weren’t going to change that.
That’s my lesson for today: When you focus on honing awesomeness day in and day out for a lifetime, you can’t help but be awesome. A few off days or weeks or months where you feel insecure and lose sight of yourself won’t change that. When you are consistent with investing in yourself, then you will have your own back.
And Hey Girl Hey, if you want to wear tiny spandex in yoga class because it’s more comfortable, or because you just want to wear tiny spandex in yoga class, then f#$king do it. You Do You. You are beautiful exactly as you are and even more so for the life you’ve lived, and life is short.