This past weekend was another weekend of yoga teacher training and I’m amazed how even during ANATOMY I could find a ton of lessons in how we all need to change our life. Like where was all this when I was 250lbs????
The rest of this is copied straight from my private PNP journal on the members only site. It was something I thought I want to share with all of you.
We’ve been challenged to pick three things that landed with us and after processing the weekend with the King I was so amazed and awed at what I did learn about our body. So much so, that I want to share with everyone.
One: The Body LOVES YOU
Your body loves you. It loves you like God loves you. I mean it should since He gave it to ya to take care of, right? But what I mean is that no matter how you treat your body it loves you so much it’s willing to change for you. What other relationship on this planet gives you such a gift? I don’t know about you but I’ve never met anyone that will just change for me because of the demands I put on it.
– You enjoy sitting on your ass ALL.THE.TIME. You don’t want to exercise so your body adjusts the spine to curve so that sitting on your ass doesn’t hurt. It gives you a hunch back to take the load of your neck. It quits building muscle in your feet and lubing the joints of the knees because you aren’t using those! Let’s make sure we add fat to the areas of your body that need more cushion for all the sitting!
– You love your sweets so you eat a lot of them and don’t make room for other things. GREAT! The body might shut down the reproductive processes to compensate because it knows having a baby could hurt you and it wants you to be able to handle all that sugar.
Sounds crazy but that’s how much our body loves us. It is accommodating, malleable, and willing to do what it takes to keep up with what we do to it. Sure it sends signals when we are hurting it but it just keeps changing trying to keep up with what demands, good or bad, we place on it.
TWO: It’s OK to Listen To Your Body
This really spoke to me because in the past I have not been able to trust myself with my body. There were the years I abused it with poor quality food, excess, and lack of movement. Then there were years I felt I had to over-compensate with exercise and such to keep weight off because I had never been able to do that in my past.
We learned so much about how individual our body is. What SCREAMED to me was the fact there are times I go to the edge when I don’t need to. Most people probably don’t push themselves hard enough. That’s not my problem. I don’t dial back enough.
When I practice yoga or anything new I always assume that because I was a former fatty that anything I do is wrong or that anything shown to me must be “the way it is.” Who am I to know the difference? I’m just a chic who weighed 250lbs trying something else new and I should listen to others more than my body and myself.
I’m always in a hurry, too, to do things that are beyond my current ability. Sure I can “do the moves” but am I really getting what I need out of it? Have I learned how to do it right rather than good enough?
It translates all over my life. My pattern is to dive head first into things and figure my way out of it. It’s served me fine or I wouldn’t do it repeatedly but this weekend I really thought about the idea of being OK with being the student. This is a great opportunity in life to not just do crazy things because I can (i.e., double half-marathon weekends, 13 miles one day and 13 miles adventure racing the next, Goofy and Dopey challenges, 3 figure competitions in 4 weeks, the list goes on).
Right now what my area of improvement is being able to focus on NOT going to the edge; stepping back from the edge and layering in knowledge and experience. Just because I’m not gangster with everything doesn’t mean I can’t trust that my body is just an old fat thing. Seriously! When I do new fitness things I always feel as if I have to go crazy or the thought that comes to mind is you could be good at that if you weren’t fat all those years.
The truth is my weight had nothing to do with it. The fact I refused to TRY anything all those years did. I could be a yoga Instagram sensation now had I been brave enough to take beginner classes at 250. I just listened to my fears then and not my body. My body told me it needed modifications but instead I listened to my inner voice tell me I will look like a fool so don’t even try.
This weekend taught me that it’s OK to push but it’s also OK to take time to truly learn.
THREE: Body Mechanics
We talked a lot about body mechanics and how we are all different. I mean, I knew it, but I never really processed it so individually. This sort of ties back to #2 Listening To Your Body. When I do certain poses I have felt like they aren’t RIGHT. I would take cues, adjustments, and such and think one of two things:
1 – Yep there it is! That’s a stretch and much harder. I was adjusting to make this too easy.
2 – Hell no! Is this what it should feel like? Holy crap this isn’t just hard but it sort of hurts and not in the good way. If I have to do it like this then holy shit I’m not ever going to love yoga.
The last yoga session I put into my practice some modifications. We are always told to hold our sacrum tucked under in some poses but in my body it’s always been super uncomfortable and got into my lower back. When we discussed that area of the body I mentioned my coccyx is naturally flipped opposite of most people. It may have something to do with why a lot of times sacrum tucks feel bad but that’s a special, unique body thing to me! I can work with it or against it.
Yesterday I released that cue and did less tucking and more just slight adjusting. It felt GOOD. I got better depth and other areas released like my shoulders. Before this class I would have kept going with those cues thinking what the hell do I know? I learned this weekend I really need to speak up and ask questions when something doesn’t feel right.
I learned more but these were my major points. This yoga journey is bringing up a lot of trust issues I have all over the place. I know where they all began in life and although I have released them with the people who started them, I obviously developed some habits with myself. Probably time to look further into a new, improved relationship with ME.