As I listen to interviews with yoga teachers, I hear the same thing so often.
I fell in love with yoga the first time I stepped onto my mat.
And I think that creates this expectation that the first time has to be magical. That if you don’t have that *spark*, then yoga just isn’t for you.
But I didn’t fall in love with yoga from day one. And, to be fair, that isn’t my tendency anyway.
I have considered my husband a close friend since I was 16. And I didn’t start looking at him *like that* until I was 21. And then I fell something serious.
I hated coffee for years. And then I found iced lattes and everything shifted. Now that rich, caffeinated beverage is pretty much my life-blood.
Until my late twenties, I didn’t like shrimp or tomatoes or avocados. Oh my, how things change.
I started practicing yoga way back in 2002. We were newly engaged. I was going to Weight Watchers and someone at a weigh-in mentioned seeing something about yoga on Oprah. Around the same time, a co-worker brought Yoga for Dummies to work and we laughed and “practiced” once the kids went to bed. (Woohoo, third shift at a group home.) I also bought a Rodney Yee DVD. But it just didn’t stick. I was just interested in burning calories. Over the next few years, I’d pull out the book or the video (or Windsor Pilates) when I was feeling like I needed to bring some movement into my day.
About two years ago, I started trying out yoga again. And I worked really hard at it for probably about a year. I went to a free (and packed) class at a local brewery. I went to Bikram regularly for a while. I tried lots of different groupons to lots of different studios. But, the entire time, yoga was just something I did to cross-train. I was running seriously, and serious distances. I practiced yoga so that I wouldn’t fall apart while running. And my goal was always to push push push and sweat sweat sweat. I brought the same discomfort to my mat that I took to the streets.
All of this time, though, it was just another way to exercise. That was where my interest stopped.
Once I stopped running and started to put my weight back on, yoga was just another reminder of things I used to be able to do that I couldn’t do anymore. It was just another thing that I was failing at. So I stopped practicing. All together. It was just another thing in my life that was just too hard.
Until Curve Camp. *Huge confession*: I didn’t sign up for Curve Camp (you know, a YOGA retreat) for yoga. I had (and still have, btw) a huge crush on Mara Glatzel. She was speaking at Curve Camp and it was only 4 hours away. So I had to go. No question. I signed up and then I felt like I had to get my yoga feet wet again. Because, hello, I was going to a yoga retreat.
I started immersing myself in my old resources. I would pick out the poses I could do out of my yoga deck, shuffle them, and practice a series. (Oh, the things I must have done wrong.) I went back to some of the YogaDownload practices that I remembered from a year prior. I inhaled all of Curvy Yoga that I possibly could. I bought and started using props. I made it a point to find my comfortable edge and stay there. I made it a point to take a long savasana.
I started to see the benefits. Curvy Beloved with Anna and Vivienne built my self-trust and my self-confidence. I started to feel the pull to give what I was learning to others and I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training.
But I still wasn’t in love. I thought I would approach yoga and teaching the way I had approached running and coaching.
And then? Curve Camp happened. And I fell in love.
In a room of women that looked like me. Each of us in our own versions of Warrior One. I remember the moment. I was being lead by the woman who would become my teacher. I had Mara on my left and Sharon (a local studio owner) on my right. And I had the thought, “This will be my life.”
And I was in love. Twelve years after the first time I first stepped on a mat.
My point? Don’t write anything off. Don’t expect to know anything from the first moment. Be curious. Be open. See what you fall in love with.
Curious about working with me as a coach but not sure if it is for you? Not sure if you want to make a commitment? Through April 22, I am offering the Spring Sessions - a 10-day coaching experience - for a smaller investment. Click here for details and to register.
I am so very excited to present this free workshop at the Lexington Public Library. In the contest of the book Wild, we'll brainstorm ways to take an epic adventure right here in your own life. There is no fee for this workshop (yippee), but registration is required.