About a year ago, I was in a toxic relationship. You know, the kind where you slowly but surely start to pretend to be something you are not in the hopes of keeping it going? It sounds cliché, but things were really just going much too fast and it didn’t take long for me to resent the amount of work it was taking. It’s not that I’m against commitment; I just couldn’t keep up with the demands. Things became very one sided, and like it or not, I found that I was the one doing all the hard work. Sure, at first I enjoyed the many perks of the relationship we had, but it started to get old quick and I found myself just not “into it” anymore. I started to become depressed and jaded, and despite my best efforts I actually started to gain weight again. The good news is that I did something about it before it all turned ugly. With the help of some time, I’ve realized that there are no hard feelings on either side. Now I am welcomed in as being “just friends “and everyone is actually quite happy about that. We have both moved on and I’m happy to report that they are seeing some great new people who are really into their fast paced lifestyle.
I know what you are thinking, but this article isn’t actually about escaping a selfish personal relationship. I’m talking about my local gym and my former exercise routine. Desperate to try to save my exercise relationship and motivated by the fear of dying as obese before I turned forty, I was forced to make peace with the fact that sustained and intense exercise wasn’t for me. So I began looking for something that I could do.
My search led me to a yoga studio in North Orange County. I’ll admit that it took some guts for me to show up that first day. I was reluctant, remembering how badly the one time I tried to follow along to a yoga DVD worked out for me, or rather, didn’t. I wondered if I could even do the poses or if I’d be laughed out of the building, but I decided that I had to try. I nervously sat on my rented mat but when the instructor told the class to close our eyes, something unexpected happened – all my fears simply vanished. The other people in the class and what they potentially thought of me disappeared from my mind completely and I found myself so present and focused that it felt like it was just the instructor and I in the studio.
What I’ve learned most about all this is that I now know that yoga is the exercise relationship that I was meant to be in. This time around there is a complete acceptance about where I am right now and I’m not being pushed to become something I’m not. I’m being encouraged to love myself just as I am and I have been inspired to make positive lifestyle changes that will benefit me because I truly want to heal my body and live a long and healthy life, not because of what I fear will happen if I don’t. And after six months, this passion shows no signs of slowing down either. I can honestly say that I can’t get enough of yoga, as the friends on my facebook wall who are fed up with my sudden postings about all things yoga could no doubt attest to.
All yogis realize on some level that yoga is far more than just an exercise; it is a way of life. And for me this way of life gets more beautiful with every practice. Each yoga class is beautiful in its own way and every teacher I’ve had a class with is amazing and passionate about sharing yoga with others. I knew within five minutes of that very first class that my life had changed forever. Although it was my first class in a yoga studio, it felt like I was the proverbial son coming home again and I was being hugged by welcome arms. I knew I belonged, and the more practices I go to the more I am convinced that Yoga, you really are the one for me.