On Sunday, I went to yoga and didn’t do a single chaturanga… Say whhhaaaaat?? Oh and I still got a good workout.
I take my yoga classes at CorePower Yoga and usually take the C2 class, which is a vinyasa power yoga class-meaning full of chaturangas. I am the type of person who wants to follow the rules and I can be a bit of a perfectionist. If the instructor says high to low plank, I feel that I need to do that chaturanga to be “good”. For a long time, I felt like I wasn’t good at yoga if I couldn’t do all the chaturangas in a class period. This has led to me wanting to skip yoga classes on days that I am tired or sore because I won’t be able to do my best. I find myself wishing there were slow flow classes at CorePower, but then I quickly talk myself out of that because I worry that those won’t help me lose weight. This is all my negative self talk and very un-yoga-like. As I learn more about the true practice of yoga and more about myself, I am starting to see that these views I had about yoga are false and that I need to honor my body, my soul, and my mind as I practice. This means that I need to take myself as I am, to honor where I am right now and to remember its exactly where I need to be-even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Back to Sunday… I had put off taking yoga classes for a while as we adapt to a new schedule with baby M. On Saturday, I finally made my way back to my mat and took a VERY challenging vinyasa class, leaving me sore and tired on Sunday morning. I wanted to avoid going back for another class on Sunday, but knew that I needed that time on my mat. I spent sometime thinking about why I was avoiding the class and I realized that I wasn’t allowing myself to consider what I really needed from the class that day. That day I needed the mind-body connection, stretching, and movement, but did not feel like the exausting workout that the classes can be. So I decided to honor myself and follow my own lead during the class. If the teacher said Chaturanga, I would just skip it, spending some extra time breathing in child’s pose or downward facing dog. I would honor my breath and not push myself past the point where I can breathe smoothly. There is no need for me to push myself into the fullest expression of a pose everytime- I am allowed to back off and enjoy myself.
So prepared with this new attitude I made my way to class on a snowy Sunday morning, secretly worrying that I would stick out in the class or I would get called out for not doing my best (again, all irrational worries). The teacher that day was very focused on fitness and strength, but I was still able to remain true to myself and my goals for that day. I didn’t do a single chaturanga, even though there were cues for like 500 of them. I flowed, I moved, I breathed, and I connected all without pushing myself further than I needed to go on that day. I left the class with energy to carry me throughout the looooong day I knew I was going to have (met with birth parents-long story-will post on that later).
My takeaway from this experience is that it is OKAY to follow your own path, to do things at your own pace, and to listen to yourself. I didn’t do a single chaturanaga and guess what? I don’t think anyone else even noticed. Sometimes in both yoga and real life, we get so wrapped up in what everyone else will think or with keeping up with the group that we lose sight of what we need. Honor yourself, respect your place in the world, love where you are right now. You are perfect <3