Everywhere I go, I carry a little notebook with me. This one I have now is a little red one, a very well-loved Christmas present from my mother-in-law. I don’t have a set time and place for journaling and thank goodness – I would write much less often if I did. Instead, I pull it out while waiting for appointments, during church, to record some juicy conversation happening next to me, jokes I hear, and strong thoughts I have randomly. I’ve been doing this for years.
After reflecting on my first weekend of yoga teacher training in my notebook, I flipped the pages until I saw a thought written in sometime in December:
“The world of in-studio yoga doesn’t seem to have a place for someone like me, but I’m coming in anyway.”
No other words were written. I don’t remember what made me write that, but I can guess.
To get real here, I often end up places and feel like an imposter. When I ran my first race, a half marathon, I thought that even with months of training behind me, everyone somehow knew I wasn’t really a runner. I seem to always be waiting for someone to boot me for not belonging in college, in new jobs, even at family gatherings with in-laws…you see the pattern.
So imagine my anxiety on Friday before I went to Hot Yoga Plus and met everyone in my group. I imagined pretty, bendy girls decked out in lululemon and ready to recite a 90-minute sequence at the drop of a hat, and memories of mean girls in middle school gym classes began to creep inside my mind. Why is it that you brain presents bad memories to accompany negative feelings? What had I gotten myself into? And was it too late to back out?
It was. I went.
I walked in to see a perfectly normal and friendly group of people hunched over their notes on sequence, looking just as anxious-excited as I was. About 75% of my nerves immediately settled, and the rest melted away as I stepped onto my mat.
We began that evening with a 2-hour sweaty, sweaty practice, and then took some time to get acquainted with the course and each other. I went to bed that night and woke up the next morning the same way – energized.
Saturday and Sunday were two more full days packed with sweat, study, and asana. I came away thinking I had learned a lot both about myself, teaching, and yoga. This is a blog, not a novel, so I’ll try to distill it down to some takeaways:
- Worrying is dumb. Really dumb. It does nothing for you but weigh you down. A better approach is to be present in the moment you happen to be in and take future moments as they present themselves.
- If we ever enter some sort of doomsday scenario, I’m adding sweating to the list of my possibly applicable talents.
- We think money matters, but it really doesn’t. No, I don’t have a fancy yoga mat or towel or clothes. Yes, I love yoga and helping people, so guess what – I belong.
I went to power classes at HYP on Monday and Tuesday and saw some new friends there. I still feel energized, crazy in love with yoga, and on a road full of promise.