Its time to start focusing on me. The mom in me can’t believe I just uttered that phrase. How selfish! The other parts of me know how badly this is needed.
For so long I have put myself, my needs, and my health on the back burner. The way back burner. Today that stopped.
Last week hubby could see and sense my anxiety rising to the highest level it’s probably ever.been. So he did what any good husband would do for fear of having to commit his 30 year old wife to the psych ward. He told me that I needed to go out do something for me. He would cover the kids, find a sitter, cook dinner, arrange baseball practice- whatever it took. And he was dead serious. So, who am I not to take such a kind man up on an offer like that? I mean that would just be rude at that point 🙂
Hesitantly I did throw one idea out there. Something I have been thinking about for months now but with our crazy hectic schedules, and budget, I haven’t even been able to think out the logistics of it so there was no way I would have been able to bring it up during dinner conversations! My desire? Yoga.
So today a very nervous, very anxious, and highly inexperienced momma stepped foot into a yoga studio for the first time EVER. The experience I had was the complete opposite of everything I expected.
I expected to feel overwhelmed.
I expected to feel out of place.
I expected to feel so nervous and anxious before class started that I might not have the guts to go in and take the class and I would end up sitting in my car for an hour and a half instead.
But you know what? NONE of that happened. Not a single bit of it. Everything I feared was going to happen never did. In fact nothing even remotely close to any of the crazy scenariois I created happened.
Instead I walked into a room with bright smiling faces, open arms, and and this amazing love for life I didn’t know possible. As soon as I told them I had never done yoga before- like not even an at home DVD- I thought for sure the poor instructor was going to have to re-do her entire class structure… But instead she gave me a high five and told me that made her SO excited to teach this class. That I was her GIFT today! What?! Me, a gift?? Maybe a big old unconfident ball of insecurity, anxiety, and guilt but I certainly wasn’t a gift.
So I entered the classroom, I rolled my mat, and grabbed a block- for what? At that point I had NO clue but everyone else had one so I figured I’d better follow suit. At this point I figured my best strategy for making it through his class was to just blend in. I’m the hang in the back of the room and keep a low profile kind of chic.
A few moments later the instructor walked in, introduced herself and very gracefully announced to the class that there was a gift among us today, today there was someone that here was a newbie… Though she never directly pointed me out which I though was super gracious of her, she did ask her student to remember their first class. The emotions they felt, the incompetence they may have felt, and that isfthere was one thing she could say to herself back then it was be “to not take it so serious, to be silly, to not worry about what she looked like during class because others would be so worried about their forms that they weren’t even looking at her.” WOW!! talk about a great confidence booster. That also meant I could still try my tactic of blending in!
Being as I had a seat in the very back of the room I was able to look to most of the other yogi’s to see what moves correlated with the words she was speaking. I’m still unsure the language or even the words the instructor was using. But what I can tell you is how glorious it felt to even attempt these moves.
To know that I was the one in control of my body.
To know that I had the ability to make my body move and turn in whatever way I wanted was so freeing- and then when I was able to accomplish such moves it felt like I had just climes Mt. Everest!!! Talk about empowering.
To know that my breathing was claiming and relaxing me.
There was one point during the class where our instructor asked us to do a move and as she did she made her way closer to me and I thought for surely I can’t do this one. She gently reminded me that “I can’t” doesn’t exist here… So I was going to try and she was more than willing to help me and while it wasn’t the most graceful of Crow poses and there was definitely some staggering and then falling atleast I tried. Do you know how long it’s been since this momma has even TRIED to do something I was more than certain I would fail at? Honestly I couldn’t even tell you when because my thought process these days gets me to the point of “why try if you are just going to make a fool of yourself, or if you aren’t going to be able to do it perfectly or at all than you shouldn’t even attemp said task at hand.” Yup that’s pretty much my inner monologue these past few months.
My next challenge came when it was time to work on our bridges, or wheels in Yogi language. I know them as back bends. Now let me tell you something… In highschool and as long as I can remember i have alway been super flexible. I was a cheerleader, and all star tumbler since about the 7th grade! 13 years after high school graduation things ( including my body have changed. I don’t think I have done one back bend since 2003. Add into that having 3 children where the most movements of stretching and bending come from moving up and down to clean up after said children. So the instructor announces that we are going to go into a wheel pose. As soon as I look around at what the others students are doing I immediately lay back down on my mat and think to myself never gonna happen- NEVER! However out of the corner of my eye the instructor and I make eye contact and she slowly starts to wonder over to my mat where I begin to giggle. Again I say to her I can’t to which she says yes you can, grab my ankles. So I grabbed her ankles and before I knew it bam! I was in wheel pose!!! What?! Who was I at that moment? If I had to choose one moment for me during this class where my heart nearly exploded with love, with calm, with peace, gratitude, and growth THAT was certainly MY moment.
The last part of class they turn down the lights and turn on the fans- thank goodness because at that point it had become VERY hot in the room. So lights off, fans on and this is where there is a lot of relaxation, breathing, stretching, and reflection happening. For me it may have been the best and most needed part of the entire class. Time alone just for me. Absolutely NO noise, no chatter, no TV, no FB, no IG , not texting, and surprisingly I wasn’t making a mental shopping list, or list of back to school supplies. None of that. I was listening to my breathing, I was focusing on my center, and I was allowing myself to actualy feel this moment. I probably haven’t “felt” a moment since before my Uncle was diagnosed in January.
I remember laying on the mat for the very few last minutes with tears rolling down my face. This class was so emotional for me.
It gave me back the ability to breakdown emotions I have been feeling, but haven’t been able to process.
It gave me the ability to feel centered and free and relaxed rather than a jumbled, mixed up, tense ball of emotions…and THAT was something I didn’t expect at all to gain from it. Atleast not from just one class. But Lord my body, mind, and spirit needed it!
When class ended I went to the welcome room to retrieve my belongings and lingered a little to talk to the instructor. To praise her for her kind words and gracious instructing. But then something happened. When I opened my mouth nothing came out. No words formed. The one things that formed were tears in my eyes.
Tears that represented the months and years of pushing my thoughts and emotions to the bottom of the list. Of pushing me to the bottom of the list.
Tears that represented me trying and accomplishing things I never knew were possible for my body to do. Of working on me.
Tears that are helping to heal my heart and soul after the recent loss of my Uncle John.
Tears that represented me finally accepting the fact that saying “I don’t know” is okay. We don’t have to have all the answers, we don’t have to do it all and that is OK. That’s not our job.
So I immediately went to the front desk after cleaninging myself up, and catching my breathe after my semi-ugly cry with this yoga instructor I had literally just met an hour ago and signed myself up for a 30 day membership!!
And as corny as this may sound I am STILL wearing the smile that class gave me this morning. And I cannot wait to go back for more! And I haven’t felt stress, anxiety, or the weight of the world on my shoulder at all today-nor did I loose my cool at any point of my day with our kids, our friends, or our family. Not once!!
It’s time for me.