I have a confession.
I like trashy TV. And by trashy I mean those shows where the metaphors are heavy-handed and plot points trite. What’s worse is that I avoid them when they air and wait for seasons pile up. That way I can gobble episode after episode on those nights I can’t sleep. Battling insomnia is no bueno. Yoga has helped some, but sometimes the Sandman is elusive and I’m awake all night. Though a book nerd since birth, on sleepless nights I like TV. It’s cuts the guilt because it’s medicinal, ya know?
I mention this because occasionally, I glean a token of wisdom from one of my guilty pleasures (don’t judge me you know there’s a Grey’s Anatomy or reality train wreck in your TV closet). While it’s a known fact that I am highly suggestible, I’m also not the dullest pencil in the drawer. There’s merit to some of these TV lessons. You remember after school specials…
So, on one episode of Grey’s (yeah, that’s what the cool kids do, shorten the title) a character realizes she’s really, really gay after sleeping with her girlfriend. She exclaims that the revelation is like wearing glasses for the first time (Heavy-handed metaphor ahead…) Said character goes on to explain about how the world is fuzzy and you don’t think any thing of it, until she got glasses (dramatic pause).
WHAMMO! Her whole world changd. This resonated with me, as I do wear glasses and remember that moment of clarity clearly.
The next morning in the shower I thought about yoga and how it brought my life into focus.
Years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to admit this to anyone but yoga has allowed me to accept what’s not perfect (or at least my perception of what perfect looked like). I think that when we talk about perfection we’re really talking about judgement. We judge what we do or what others do against standards real and imaginary. My practice has allowed me to bend more physically and emotionally. I now see what I’m really seeing, if that’s not to trippy to think about.
My yoga glasses did three things:
1. Regular practice provides clarity so I can see what’s really important and what may be ‘old noise’. Yoga helps me ‘hear’ an old record playing some negative pattern and has given me the ability to stop it.
2. Yoga helps me deal with what is, not what was or what is going to be.
3. Yoga woke up the self-acceptance I had as a kid. I ‘re-learned’ how to play and have fun my body without judgement or reprisal. One of my favorite yoga posts comes from author Joshilyn Jackson, ‘An Open Letter to the Fat Girl I saw at Hot Yoga in New York City’. Her candor was so refreshing. Her acceptance of herself was like speaking up.
I think that teaching yoga is my way of speaking up. It’s my way of saying that no matter how young or old you are, it’s never too late to love what you see.
Sometimes when I’m on my mat I dedicate my practice:
For the awkward girl who feels ugly.
For the recently divorced woman who is unsure of how to start over.
For the retired woman who pursues her childhood dream.
For every woman who has the courage to say I’m okay and for the ones who don’t, it’s okay I love you.
This is yoga. And I love what it has given me. I hope I’m able to give as much back.