Friday, May 3, 2013

Something That's Mine

Here's a clue about the studio...
Today I went to my new home studio for the first time. I'll be practicing here for the next month until I leave for Japan, and I'll write about this place later. Right now I just want to talk about some revelations that came to me today.

A friend of mine whom I've known since kindergarten and is a yoga instructor recommended this place to me. I've gone to her with yoga-related questions before, and I trust her opinion. But going to a new studio can be scary for a newbie like me. I've been going to the same small, intimate, diverse, and accepting studio for the past 4 months, and now I have to recreate that atmosphere back home, where even fewer people resemble me in size and color. I was excited but oh so nervous!

I'm glad to say that as usual, I had nothing to worry about. It was a little overwhelming because the studio is so HUGE and has so many rooms! But the staff is really nice, the other students are pleasant, and my instructor this evening was beyond wonderful.

However, even if that hadn't been the case, I realized that it doesn't matter where you practice or if the people there with you are snooty. As I was sweating and keeping up with the flow and remembering how amazing my body is, I kept hearing in my head Your practice is yours. You carry it with you, inside of you everywhere you go. I'm good at this and I love it; yoga makes me feel like myself. So I have every right to go wherever it is I decide to practice.

Other than biking and swimming, yoga is the only form of exercise that actually makes me feel good about myself afterward. When I was going to a gym I never felt like I was doing enough. Next time I need to push myself harder. Next time I need to sweat more. But during our class, the instructor Meagan kept talking about finding patience, enjoying the in-between moments, and finding joy in the journey. That's so real. So when I walk into a new studio I don't need to be ashamed or feel like I'm trespassing just because my body's a little wider and softer than everyone else's. For the first time in my life, I feel like I've found something that is mine. Wholly and genuinely, deeply and unchangeably mine. My yoga practice belongs to me. God gave it to me.

So I will practice where I please, thank you very much. And I'm glad I chose this place.

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