I went to a yoga class on my own last week because I will soon be 30 and I am just slightly overreacting.
I hate sports. Well, I don’t know if I actually can say that because I simply don’t exercise ever. I went to the gym with a friend for almost 6 months, two years ago, and that was that. I was 27 and the last time I had done any kind of exercise was 10 years before, in college. Going to the gym was huge for me at the time. I was working remotely for the first time and needed something to clear up my mind once a week. But I gave up because I did not truly enjoy it. I liked seeing my friend, feeling tired after the session, but it wasn’t enough for me to keep going after the initial “Woop Woop I’m going to the gym” phase.
I am going to be 30 years old in less than a month (did I just say that twice in the space of two minutes?) and I am reflecting. I won’t bore you with the details of my labyrinthine mind but I felt like going to Yoga one day. Basically because I want to clear my mind, feel connected to my body and disconnected from the rest of the world.
It’s actually why I love skincare and makeup so much, because it does all those things, except I only feel connected to my face. I wanted to live in my body not drag it around if that makes any sense.
Our rule in the class is that we all have to wear Lulu Lemon’s gear but apart from that, everyone’s welcome!
I have always been intrigued by Yoga, but couldn’t find a class at a decent price. Until I did. I emailed the Yoga teacher beforehand to let her know I was a beginner and maybe in the secret hope that she’d tell me “this class will be way too hard for you“, “Elsa? Yeah we know you around the block, you’ve always told everyone you don’t like sports? Well the joke’s on you, we don’t want you in the class“, “Our rule in the class is that we all have to wear Lulu Lemon’s gear but apart from that, everyone’s welcome“.
You know? That kind of s***** thoughts.
None of that happened of course.
First of, going to this on my own felt really empowering. Though I’m quite happy with my own company, going to something related to sport by myself only trusting my motivation is something else. Something I had never done before.
I was ready way too early, had a cigarette in front of the Yoga building and, of course, met the Yoga teacher at the same exact moment. AND I had no mat.
As I’m getting older, I’m trying really hard to not care about what others think about me. I’m hard enough on myself you see. I’m also quite often thinking that people might have a specific opinion on this thing I said or this aspect of my life when in fact I’m the one judging myself. So as I went into the Yoga class, I tried to leave judgment outside the door. (Edit: I’m proofreading this article before it goes live. I never thought I’d write a sentence like “leave the judgment outside the door”. But guess what? Might sound stereotypical, obvious, whatever, I’m leaving this in the text even though it makes me cringe BECAUSE…it sort of worked!)
At first I thought, “What do you mean not compete with myself, Isn’t that the point of exercising?” You’ve guessed it, I was angry.
I had so many annoying thoughts on my mind. “What if I look silly, what if I don’t understand this movement, what if it’s too hard and I need to stop, what if they’re all really into and I feel like laughing because it’s only Yoga, come on!”
I did want to laugh sometimes because of how bad I was, but sometimes I felt quite content because I could hold a posture, and was trying something new, on my own. I could see my younger self thinking “that’s what it must be like to be an adult” and I felt so damn proud.
The next session will be in two weeks. I think I might go back. The teacher’s lovely. It’s a small group of friendly, focused, quiet people. At some point during the class, the teacher said, “don’t compete with yourself, don’t push too hard. Just try and see what it feels like! And accept what your body’s able to do.”
Now, I’m so angry at so many things. At first I thought, “What do you mean not compete with myself, Isn’t that the point of exercising?” You’ve guessed it, I was angry. Then, I tried to think differently. I pushed my body to stay in whatever position we had to be in at the time, just a little bit, gently, not from an angry corner of my mind. I want to be stronger. That’s why I’m trying Yoga. So instead of just feeling frustrated, I reckon I used my anger to be strong, stay still, accept my limits but go all the way up to these limits. And it turned into power. It’s nice to feel – not in your mind, but actually feel, with your skin, your legs, your arms, your whole being – powerful.
I walked home feeling stretched out and realigned. What a cliché right? I really did though. In addition to that, I felt a new kind of power. When someone would ask me “Do you practice any sport?”. I used to say, Churchill style, “No sport!”. We’ll see what my future answer will be. Needless to say I don’t want to become an insufferable sport lover who tries to convince everyone to exercise or whatever… How annoying would that be?!
Oh by the way, I need to buy a Yoga mat, do you guys have any recommandations? No? Anyone?