I often ask myself if I’m cut out for this whole yoga thing.
It’s got nothing to do with my flexibility, my inability to do a headstand, or my spiritual devotion.
I’m not sure I’m cut out for this yoga thing because I don’t look like a yogi.
I’m a little too curvy, a lot too booby and just a little too bootylicious for you babe.
When I do shoulder stand, I feel like I could suffocate in a sea of breasts. And as I transition into plow pose and my toes reach for the floor behind my head I sometimes wonder if my ample bust will cut off my air supply.
When I do extended side angle pose, sometimes the fold of fat on my hips get’s in the way and all of a sudden I’m out of the ‘yogi zone’ and hoping my top is pulled down so as not to topple the yogi behind me by the mere sight of a muffin top.
I can’t wrap my toes behind my calf in eagle pose because my legs are short and my thighs are thick. And you know what? All of these things throw my practice off… big time. And not just because they make the asanas a little trickier.
Do you know what happens when you’re not present in yoga and you start getting carried away with superficial body crap? You lose balance in tree pose, you get stuck in hip openers, your heart chakra becomes stagnant, you injure yourself and you’ll probably never nail that headstand.
But here’s what yoga has done for me that has nothing to do with whether or not I can rock a lycra two piece from The Upside catalogue.
- I can breathe my way out of any tricky, sticky or painful situation. I got through three yoga induced shoulder dislocations by concentrating on and regulating my breath (followed by a butt load of morphine). Bring on childbirth (you just gotta breathe right?)!
- I’ve learnt how to be present… and not just on the mat. I realised the other day how little time I spend in the past these days and I’ve been conscious not to live too far into the future. This is a minute by minute practice and I have yoga to thank for that.
- I’ve learnt to let go of shit. People, thoughts and things that no longer serve me used to build up in my life. Often I’d try and squeeze square pegs into round holes and over analyse problems that don’t actually exist (we’re all guilty of that), but yoga has taught me to appreciate the space that you create when you let go of that which no longer serves you.
- I’m learning to love my body I may look a little more Beyonce than Ashley Hart in my yoga gear, but the leaps and bounds I have made in strength, flexibility and endurance since practicing this ancient art is phenomenal. In April last year I had major shoulder surgery and less than 18 months later I’m nailing my chatarungas, progressing in my wheel pose and one day I WILL get up into headstand. Yoga has taught me to respect my body and be thankful for it’s abilities no matter what it looks like on the outside.
So, if like me you’ve questioned your yogi status because you don’t necessarily fit the yogi mould, then i encourage you to look at the bigger (or curvy) picture and realise that your lady lumps could in fact be a blessing in your spiritual advancement.