It’s easy to look at someone else and think they’ve got it all together.
Or think they know what they’re doing.
Or think they know how to be better or more of a badass than we are.
When I got married in 2015 (yep, I’m married, though I thought I was never ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER going to get married), I gave us a wedding present — a yoga intro session with Vera Lester (@verarocks). Vera was the only one I knew who taught yoga at the time. I’d tried yoga a long time ago (like, way back in my early 20s) and I didn’t care for it very much. It was too slow. I was too in my head. I hated it.
Of course, way back then, in my early 20s, I didn’t like myself or my life too much. So, you know. Instead, I was a Pilates girl.
I loved Pilates; still do. I feel like it’s the most bang for your buck if you really want to see a massive change in your body in a very short time. In fact, I actually just finished a 7 Day Back to Pilates Intensive with my favorite Pilates Instructor Julie (@communitypilates). Pilates is all about focus — focus on your core, focus on your posture, focus on your form. There’s not a lot of down-time. I liked that about Pilates. No time to think. Just do.
Back to Yoga.
So, in 2015(ish), we tried yoga, but it just didn’t work. Vera was a great teacher; we were just a bunch of klutzes. And we didn’t know how to be in our mind, alone, quiet, listening, while also not beating ourselves up for not knowing how to do a pose. Even just 6 years ago, that was not on the table. I could be quiet and read a book. I could be quiet and stare at the clouds. I could meditate to Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Challenges, but yoga? Frick. No way.
A lot happened in a short period of time (short meaning 5 years). I was finally grasping and willing to come into me — all of me. Not only did I start acknowledging all of the ways I still wanted to grow, but I accepted all my flaws, too, but not that they were flaws — they were strengths. That isn’t to say I didn’t intellectually know what was up, but emotionally, even after almost 40 years of therapy, I was still growing. I mean, that’s one of my two daily goals: to be a better person today than I was yesterday (the other is to make a stranger laugh).
So, why couldn’t I do yoga?
I kept being hard on myself. Kept thinking that to do yoga, I had to do the poses “right” and “perfect” and that I had to have a certain body type to do it. I always thought of all the ways I thought I was supposed to show up to yoga.
I never realized that doing yoga is literally about just showing up.
Getting there. Sitting down on your mat. And even if you stay in one singular pose the whole class, that’s.still.yoga. Yep. Still. Yoga. To lay in Savasana (Corpse Pose) is still yoga. I’m all about that.
So, fast forward to 2019.
I was in a great job, working at a place I loved, when suddenly, the rug got pulled out from underneath me. Suddenly, my awesome job I loved turned into a super stressful job where I was literally losing hair by the handfuls each day, where people taunted me and tricked me and worse, actively conspired to hurt me (more on that during this weekend’s chat on Instagram).
I needed something to help me re-center. Come back to myself. And be active at the same time, without putting too much pressure on myself.
And it was like a light at the end of the tunnel. The whisper.
There was a small studio literally a 30 second drive away from my house. The class times were perfect. They told me to come as I am. No fancy clothes. No fancy mats. No special moves. Just show up.
And then I knew. I belonged there — @yaya4yoga
I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but I knew if I didn’t schedule the class then and there, I wouldn’t go. So I did. And I went.
And when I walked in, it was strange. But everyone was nice. And quiet. And respected my space. And helped me find mine.
And my life has not been the same this past year.
And I am better for it. My clients are better for it. My dogs are happier for it. My relationships are stronger because of it.
I am beautiful because of yoga.
Joni (the founder of Yaya 4 Yoga) is a great teacher, and through Yaya, I met Dina (an amazing yoga instructor, artist and healer, who is smart not to have social, but happily will connect with anyone in person) and I met Erin (@erinsnowglow, a divinely intuitive yoga instructor, esthetician and founder of Zentilly Cove). I found Yoga with Adriene (@adrienelouise) and Yoga with Sarah Beth (@sarahbethyoga). In fact, I just finished Adriene’s 30 Day Breath Journey. That was fun!
And whenever I need yoga, I ask myself — who and what do I need … then I go to the teacher that will give me that.
There are tons of other yoga teachers I love, like the gorgeous Amy (@amosthemouse, who teaches Yoga for Big Bodies — dat’s me) and my little sister, Cat.
But if we’re being honest, above all, the yoga teacher I love the most is myself.
These wonderful creatures opened my eyes to all that yoga could do for me — mentally, emotionally, physically, intellectually — and all that yoga could do for those around me. I swear I haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid. It’s that yoga has helped me find strength to support myself, and to find solace in being present in and for my body, because it deserves it. I deserve it.
And yes, I might still be in Beginner’s Yoga, but the truth is, I plan to be there for a long time.
We are all just old souls traveling through time. Let’s give them what they need, when they need it.
So, today I invite you to celebrate with me. It’s my one year yoga-versary. How do you want to celebrate my day, but for yourself? What will you do today, to make your life better?
Love y’all. Happy Yoga-versary!
And, if you need someone to help you get on the track you want to a happier, healthier, richer life, I’m your girl. Let’s chat!
About Sheila: An attorney, a social worker and an educator, she’s unlike any other person you’ve ever met. She thrives on a challenge, loves to solve puzzles and fix things and definitely loves helping make other people’s lives better – stronger – more efficient – happier. She tells terribly corny jokes, but maybe, just maybe, if you’re nice to her, and even laugh at her jokes, you’ll get something specially baked, just for you. Yep. For real.
* I have two goals each day: (1) to make a stranger laugh and (2) to be a better person each day than I was the day before. I meet these goals. Every. Day.