It has been a long journey of yoga in my life to be where I am today. I was at my first chiropractic appointment, and she was checking my alignment. Again, someone would have the perception (or schema) that larger women and men are not flexible. Well, I’ve been practicing yoga daily since I was about nine-years-old. She has me fold over forward to see my alignment, and I heard a “woah” from behind me. She was impressed that I could get down that far and not to mention that I was hugging my legs as a standard forward fold I do every day. I asked if everything was okay and she simply said: “I did not know you would be that flexible,”.
Okay, so ouch that hurt (and probably were not her intentions); then, I let that perception of her go. She may have been in practice of chiropracts for so long that she did not realize a heavier set woman could still achieve yoga. I believe that many people who see me on a day to day basis only see the weight, and of course the service dog, and make assumptions; however, we all know what assumptions do: “they make an ass out of you and me (to assume),”.
I have learned not to take it personally because I know that the weight gain started when I quick smoking. Then, I started to take multiple medications to get my body under control. It was then that I missed yoga so much.
I did not have the energy or the drive to continue with yoga, and felt at a loss. I love doing yoga, especially on the trapeze, and could not make it on the mat. I believe it was due to fear, or maybe even a lack of caring. I kept hearing my brain say “you work out heavily for an hour each day and you keep gaining weight. So, what is the point?”.
Okay, shut up brain. Yoga is not about the physical exercise (although that is a useful outcome of it); It is rather about the mind, body, and breath combing to form the yolk. Yoga has a literal translation from Sankrit to English of yolk or to bind (I’ll pause a moment while you look that up, and will be waiting for you when you return).
One day, I said to myself screw this feeling and found myself on mat again after a hiatus of about a month and felt the same jolt of energy that I discussed early this week. That connection between the earth, my mind, my breath, and my body. Then I moved to the trapeze and had that weightless sensation of swinging first and proceeded to my first inversion.
I felt wonderful hanging there while my spine curved and popped (as much as it could on its own) back into place. I came up and proceeded with my trapeze workout which includes inverted sit ups, back and arm pull ups, inverted stretching, inverted arm strength, etc. I always come off my trapeze to return to my mat briefly, kneeling with both my feet flexed, and then neutral. Then, I come into a full camel position…nearly done. I do “yogi” sit ups, and rotate my spine. I also stretch the lumbar and hips once more for good measure.
Yoga has brought me many positive attributes, and one of them is self-acceptance.
Thank you as always to Jenn Bovee.
Light up the Darkness,
Photo by: Aerial Yoga Swing – ULTRA STRONG Antigravity Yoga