That Time a Yoga Class Delivert Me From the Spirit of Comparison
So dig this, sis. I took some workout progress pics this weekend. And they made me miserable. Because I couldn’t see the changes. Sure, there were some obvious differences, my legs are more toned, abdomen smaller…but I wanted more muscles. Where was my definition? Never mind that I’ve been bulking (consuming surplus calories) to gain weight, I wanted to see muscles. Like the ones I saw on that progress pic I took that one time. But better. Like I saw on Instagram.
I wanted to be an Instagram fitness baddie.
So for two days, I faked the funk. Reminded myself over and over again that I was bulking, so I would gain some fat and that would make it harder to see muscle definition. Reminded myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint and all of my current health/body goals don’t even have time frames in the next 6 months! Reminded myself about all the things behind the picture. Like how much stronger I was now. And how much more endurance I had. How high my box jumps are. But I really didn’t convince myself. I was still upset. Had been upset since the photo shoot. I actually snapped pics of me pouting during the photo shoot because I wanted to shame myself later for my attitude. But right then, I wasn’t ashamed of my attitude because I wanted an Instagram booty.
Then I went to a yoga class last night.
And ain’t no room for comparison in yoga. Especially if you’re a newbie. You really have to worry bout yo self. Because if you don’t, you’ll be picking up your face off the floor. Literally. You’ll fall on your ass. Can’t be looking around to see who can pose better than you. You’ll learn quick fast and in a hurry that skills are not determined by body type. I had to be so focused on me and what I was doing, that I could not look left and right to mind other folks’ business even if I wanted to. And I did want to because I‘m a Leo and everything is a competition. But for one hour, I did what my momma done told me to do fifty ‘leven times as a child in grown folks conversations— mind my own damn business. And when I did…
I centered me.
And took pride in the tiny steps of growth I had in that one class. Like quickly learning the names of various poses. And keeping up much better than I anticipated being able to do. I was so focused and excited about my accomplishments, that I didn’t care about anything else. Not even the fact that I stank by the end. Though to be transparent, I’ve long started to enjoy my workout funk. I digress. In that class, I also learned to respect my limitations. Because Birds of Paradise simply was not gon’ happen in one class. At least not for me. What I quickly realized was that not respecting my limits could get me seriously hurt. Now where else does that apply? Hmm…
There was a point during one of them Warrior poses that I glimpsed myself in the mirror and thought, “Damn I‘m beautiful.” And beautiful isn’t even a word I use to describe myself. Fine. Sexy. Cute. But never beautiful. This body, this me that I was so unhappy with just hours prior, was beautiful. I smiled at her. And she knew. That while we sometimes don’t (and shouldn’t) believe our eyes, we should always trust our spirits. One hour of shutting out the world and centering myself allowed me to do just that- hear my spirit.
All in a yoga class.
Thing is, if you had asked me last year, I probably would have said there was no way I would like yoga. But I was into it y’all. All the way into it. Like at one point in the final few minutes when they have you relaxing and imagining yourself floating, I got thirsty and said to myself, “You ain’t thirsty, you a gaht damn cloud and clouds don’t get thirsty. They just make it rain.” Real. Life. Thoughts. I‘m a whole cloud gangsta. Which is funny in part because I used to be a real life gangsta. Better ask about me. But don’t. Statutes of limitations and whatnot. Focus. Clouds.