For the first two modules of yoga teacher training, I was pretty nervous. I had some anxiety around geography – I’m so afraid of getting lost in my car. I had some anxiety about worrying if people would like me.
But most of all? I had performance anxiety.
My forward folds aren’t very foldy.
My left hip is waaay more open than my right hip.
My backbends aren’t very bendy.
But then something strange happened for module 3. Leading up to the trip, I had none of this familiar anxiety. I was excited to see my crew. I was excited about seated poses, even though they are my weakest poses. (As a recovering distance runner, my hips and hamstrings just don’t have a lot of openness.)
Once I got into the studio, I realized why I was so calm.
I have finally internalized something I have externalized for a while now.
Every body is a yoga body. Including mine.
I have had no problem believing that this was true for other people. I have learned modifications and prep poses and how to promote alignment ahead of the full expression of the pose.
But somehow, I had allowed this belief to float out into the world from me without allowing internal application. Yup, it is true for everyone else, but it isn’t true for me.
I can use a prop to show a modification for Chatarunga, but I shouldn’t have to use it in my home practice.
I can teach sun salutations with a chair, but I should be able to just rock out a few dozen of them on the floor with ease.
I can show you how to use a strap in cow face pose, but my hands really should touch.
Isn’t it interesting how we deny ourselves the grace we so readily offer to others?
I don’t know when I started offering that grace to myself. There wasn’t a moment that I decided that it was okay to approach props with curiosity. There wasn’t a trigger that brought on an epiphany.
I guess I just told myself that I am okay – that I am enough – enough times that I started to believe it. That I’m no different than everyone else. And that it isn’t necessary to have different expectations of myself than I have of others.
Noticing this shift feels like a giant exhale.