My roomate Lloyd taught his first hot yoga class today and being the dutiful friend, I attended. I don't think he appreciates what a monumental feat this was for me. You see, my roommate is a hot 35 year old trainer. I on the other hand am a middle aged overweight female who would rather get a root canal than be thrust into a room of scantily clad 20 year olds gracefully performing downward dogs, proud warriors, and happy babies.
For the last week I had so many negative thoughts crossing my mind. I had flashbacks of high school gym class and all the torture and embarrassments that an overweight teenager experiences. I was also worried about my health. Having some heart issues, it was a real concern. What if I pass out during class and have a heart attack?(I went so far as to put my insurance card and medical information in my yoga bag) And of course did I mention the fear of being the laughing stock of the class? (That even topped the "I'm going to die" fear!)
Despite my misgivings, I dug out a tank top and found a pair of sweat pants. Since I'm writing this blog you can already guess that I survived my adventure. Not only did I survive-I had an awesome time and I'm willing to try it again. So here is what I learned from my adventure:
Everyone in the class was so busy worrying about their own form, they didn't have time to pay attention to me. I'm willing to bet a lot of them have the exact same insecurities as I do. I think I spend way too much time worrying about what other people think of me.
I may not have been the youngest or the skinniest person there, but I did my best and tried every pose. There were a lot of people who gave up half way through the class. Lloyd always tells me I'm a lot stronger than I give myself credit for and I'm starting to believe he is right.
If you give into your fears, you will never achieve your dreams. It would have been so easy to cancel the class and believe all the negative talk. Yes, I was the oldest and heaviest person in the class....but that's ok I won't be for long. The people who show up and do things are the ones who are in shape. I can choose to hide in my room and be overweight and unhappy the rest of my life-telling myself that one day when I lose enough weight maybe I'll try yoga ...or I can choose to take a chance and go for it. That way one day I will be that skinny, scantily clad 40 something gracefully performing downward dog and happy baby. Maybe I'll be an inspiration to someone else who is trying to overcome their fears. After all, if I can do it-anyone can!
Finally I learned that I don't need to do everything perfectly to enjoy it. I made the decision to go at my own pace and enjoy the class. That took away the stress of having to be perfect. So I couldn't bend over backwards and touch my toes to my head. I was still able to bend backwards a little bit-and hey it gives me something to aspire to.
So I guess my point from all of this is don't be afraid to try new things. You can never achieve your goals if you don't show up.
See you in hot yoga class!