Touch my toes? Missy, I can’t even see my toes.
Spandex should come with a warning label for people like me: “CAUTION: NOT TO EXCEED 20% OF OUTFIT”. Those cute but oh-so-revealing yoga outfits? I can’t even imagine appearing in public wearing one something like that, let alone sticking my butt up in the air in a room full of lithe twenty-somethings and a cute-if-shaggy instructor.
Were there such a thing as Plump, Rigid, & Cowardly magazine, I would undoubtedly be their first cover model.
In case it’s not already clear, let me be more direct: I am not your typical yoga aficionado. You know, the lithe, limber, supremely fit and serenely calm young woman who looks something like this:
Our Yoga-Goddess has no problem with spandex, touching her toys, or sticking her butt up in the air. If you look something like her, you can stop reading this article now and go treat yourself to a 14-mile run and a wheatgrass-milkshake.
Still here? Good, for the rest of us, I’d like to share a revelation: Yoga is not just for the Yoga-goddesses. In fact, were it not for the American tendency to market any form of activity as somehow being about weight loss, I’d say that Yoga is primarily not for the Yoga-goddesses, but rather for anyone who sees personal health and wellness as something much deeper than mere muscle tone.
For years, I avoided going to a yoga class because I assumed I would just embarrass myself due to lack of fitness or flexibility. I dreamed vaguely of one day getting into Yoga after I had reached my target weight, along with other impractical activities that looked good on TV, like modern dance and rope-less rock climbing.But all that changed when a friend lent me Maggie Rhoades’ Yoga for Weight Loss for Beginners. Or, as I prefer to call it, Yoga for the Plump, Rigid, and Cowardly. My first time through the DVD I thought: this can’t be weight loss! This was stretching, breathing, and rediscovering your body, wrapped in a tranquil ocean landscape and soothing music. And I was hooked!
Each day I couldn’t wait to get home and turn on the DVD, commencing a transformation where the stresses of work, city-life, and money woes peeled away bit-by-bit, until the real me could emerge once again, like a butterfly shaking free of its cocoon.
But my new-found passion for yoga wasn’t just a workout; it kicked off a whole new lifestyle. I just felt more alive, more energetic, more organic – like the difference between a fuzzy black and white episode of I Love Lucy and the eye-popping high-definition Blu-Ray version of Planet Earth. Suddenly it was easier to make healthy choices at the food court, and much less intimidating to say yes to invitations from active friends.
So I’m still not quite ready to venture out in spandex or embarrass myself in a class, but getting over my initial preconceptions about yoga ultimately opened up a whole new world for me right here in my living room. I hope it will do the same for you!