SIX HUNDRED PEOPLE. Mats and yoga pants in every color and pattern imaginable. Handstands. Inversions. Perfect, shiny hair.
Where am I?
My gal pal Lisa came down from Ann Arbor for a yoga event and I thought, “Sure, I’ll go.” The price was a little steep but a Sunday afternoon of yoga with a good friend I hadn’t seen since the summer sounded like a great plan to me.
For the record, Lisa is a total yoga pro (she would deny this). She has excellent balance and the perfect body that wears yoga pants and tanks with ease. Meanwhile, I’m sitting there tugging up my pants to ensure my muffin top doesn’t pop out and that my loose shirt hides my rolls. I get tired in downward dog and can’t plank for more than 30 seconds without crumbling to my knees.
So I’m thinking about all the reasons why I shouldn’t be here. I feel like a total fraud. They will totally find out I’m not a yogi. My imperfect hair will give it away.
Class begins and the teacher comes out and everyone cheers. I can tell this chick is into mystic stuff, and I’m pretty sure I could not roll my eyes any further into the back of my head. I am so not yogi enough for this.
But as we lie down in corpse to warm up to our practice, a wave of emotion hits me. I’m crying because she’s talking about acceptance, loving your body, and appreciating what you’ve got/where you are. I’m constantly trying to lose 5-10 lbs, always feeling a little too cumbersome for my person. Even on my wedding day I didn’t feel the best beautiful (you could totally see the line of my Spanx cutting across my tummy–hello, photog, where’s the photoshop?).
But in that moment where I couldn’t feel more imperfect, I felt acceptance. I was encouraged in my body and in my limited practice. I wasn’t shamed for who I was or what I looked like or how sloppy my half moon pose was. The instructor kept reminding the group, “You are enough.” and every time she said it my eyes welled with tears because, duh, I am.
Doing yoga every day doesn’t make you perfect. Neither does having a closet full of Lululemon yoga pants. Or having perfect, shiny hair (the hair again, I know, but it was like I was in a Pantene commercial, folks). No one is perfect. But you can chose to be enough.
Pretty enough. Strong enough. Smart enough. Balanced enough.
“Enough” was a mindset that seemed elusive but suddenly made clear.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still feel like a bit of a yoga fraud, but I’m trying to own my practice more. So what if I can’t transition into Upward Dog without going to my knees first? I’ll get stronger, and maybe one day I’ll be able to vinyasa like a pro. But for now, my ability is enough. I am enough. I don’t have to fake it any more.