In my younger years I would have never considered myself a yoga person. I’m not into that hippy, granola stuff. I’d love to say I was attracted to hot yoga because of the physical challenge…
but the real reason was spite.
I had just ended a relationship with someone starting out in hot yoga. And because I was so hurt and also spiteful I threw myself into hot yoga in the pathetic hope that I would be better at it than he.
But something happened in the sweat-filled room, it took 40C to heal the hurt of the break-up. Then slowly the spite left and a sense of strength replaced it.
I knew I needed hot yoga to give me a sense of balance.
Unfortunately my 4 times weekly habit turned into 4 times in the entire 15 months I have been traveling. But coming back to Toronto I discovered I still had classes left at my old studio and I was going to use them.
As I lay in savasana (corpse pose) waiting for the class to start I started sweating, realizing that 40C is really hot, wondering if I could still do the class.
Then as we got into the first few poses anxiety kicked in. I wasn’t as strong as I used to be or as flexible. The easy moves at the beginning were kind of hard. My mind was racing:
I don’t think I can do this.
But the universe sends you messages and the Moksha Uptown studio has great teachers. Mine not only reminded everyone of little physical corrections but also why we were there.
As she asked us to focus mentally, I realized everything she was saying about the yoga practice was also related to my life.
- Why are you judging yourself when you look in the mirror?
- Don’t worry if you are not perfect.
- Just relax in the moment and try to feel joy.
- Release the negative feelings you have about yourself to make way for positivity.
- There is no end. This is a constant effort. A progression.
- The aim is not to be perfect but the effort in trying.
- Be proud of yourself for showing up.
- Be in a beginners mind where you are trying things for the first time.
- Release any expectations you may have of yourself.
- You do not need to change any aspect of yourself to deserve peacefulness.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Forget about all the other errands you need to do today and try to just be in the moment.
I let go of all of my expectations and just enjoyed the class. And while intellectually I know all of these things, I had forgotten them in my heart.
This is now why I practice yoga.