The other night, I went to a beginner yoga class.
In the past I’d avoid beginner classes. I’d think, I’m not a beginner, I don’t want people to think I’m a beginner. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I need a CHALLENGE!
But on this particular day I was sore from lifting and really wanted a gentle yoga class; more than restorative but not power yoga.
In the past few months I had just about given up on yoga completely. I felt like I was constantly straining in the majority of poses. Even child’s pose bothered my knee. I was leaving feeling nauseous almost every time. The nausea, I think, comes from vertigo and the constant up and down of vinyasas. (Yes I get veritgo and have a little arthritis thing going on.)
The reason I go to yoga is to help my muscles stretch and recover from the other activities I participate in. To reflect. To create calm and ignite positivity in my thoughts. To eliminate judgement and set intentions that help me re-frame my thoughts to support my dreams and goals.
Power yoga hasn’t been doing that for me lately.
So, Brendan was working late and I decided to scroll through ClassPass (<–use this link to sign up and you get $20 off!) and see what was going on. I saw this beginner class, noticed it had great reviews, and booked it out the door without thinking twice. I needed a mental boost.
While I was in class (and loving it, much to my surprise), I started thinking about ego and fear and how they play a part in fitness (and life!). I credit both, in part, for “ruining” my workouts.
Ego encourages us to avoid workouts we’ve never done before for fear of looking uncoordinated or out of place.
Ego encourages us to do movements that might hurt us, because we want to appear stronger.
Ego overtakes the signals our bodies give us to stop (or start!) something.
Ego traps us into to comparing ourselves to others around us.
Ego convinces us to not even try something if we don’t think we’re “good” at it.
Ego convinces us to not even try something if we think we’re “too good” for it.
Ego instills hesitation.
Ego instills fear.
I had never been to a beginner yoga class (until now) and I think I learned more in this class than in the past 6 months of yoga classes. Not necessarily from the teacher’s instruction, but from opening my mind enough to realize I have the ability to drop my ego and experience a familiar situation in a different context.
I got exactly what I wanted: I learned, I set intentions, I left feeling positive and back on track. I reminded myself to focus on my decision detox. To take note of why I do or don’t do things.
This was key.
Is it ego or fear? Drop them. Give it a good try and see if it makes me feel happy and challenged…in a good way.
Is it sincere dislike? (I don’t enjoy it or care. It makes me unhappy.) Drop it. Let it go and make space for people and things that do make me happy.
So shut it, ego. I’ll have fun without you.
What have you not done that you want to do, but ego or fear is stopping you? Fill me in (and then go do it)!