Hey Mommas, I’m just like you. I’m taking care of the kiddos, making sure they get everything they need and tending to my husband. Often that leaves very little time for Momma to take care of herself. Honestly, I get it! Yoga was the last thing I thought I could squeeze in to do for myself.
I have a full-time job, a part-time job doing business and digital media consulting, and another part- time job managing the nursing schedule for my son’s care and running his personal care attendant agency. There is no time left for ME. But amidst the recent flood relief efforts and the taking care of everyone else, a sweet and wise friend reminded me that I can’t be the best ME if I don’t give time to myself. A friend asked if anyone wanted to join her for a yoga class. I still can’t believe I said yes.
I’m going to be real with you here. Having not worked out in over a year, I was nervous about doing any group exercise. I am a lone power walker, so the idea of a group workout made me anxious. I am also a bit of a giant, so taking a yoga class where flexibility is key was very intimidating. Now enter that I am a few sizes bigger than I would like to be. Yoga clothes were out of the question, and this made me nearly have a panic attack trying to find an outfit. It took me almost all day to find my yoga mat – I thought I may have an excuse to cancel. But when it came to finding an outfit, I nearly burst into tears and called the whole thing off. I look nothing like the pictures you would google for “yoga outfit.” See how many outfits it took to find something?
I have a bad back to begin with, arthritis in my back and joints, and I am out of shape. This could be comical or even sad. I am also tall and egg-shaped. The thought of entering that studio was almost more than I could handle with their cute little outfits and in-shape bodies. A fat girl in a yoga outfit is not attractive. But with some encouragement, I found myself driving there.
I didn’t want to do Hot Yoga, but guess what it was? HOT YOGA. WHAT FRESH PIECE OF PURGATORY DID I JUST GET MYSELF INTO???
The instructor encouraged me to go at my own pace, to modify moves that were not good for my back, and not worry about anything – that this was only about me, not what everyone could do. I decided to give it my best shot.
She took us through several poses and squats, and I thought I might actually be able to do this. Then the sweat came. “Grab your leg,” she said. Uh, lady … my hand is slipping right off my sweaty leg. Then the burpees. Another level of purgatory I didn’t anticipate because I didn’t come to take a boot camp class, you see… I came for the kind of yoga I thought would be stretching and balancing and stuff. I almost couldn’t keep my water down. And then we started more poses with stretching, all while I am trying not to slip off my mat because I am sweating so profusely.
While I may not be cut out for Hot Yoga, I was proud of myself for dipping my toe in the water and at least doing something for myself. Ladies, can I just encourage you too? I’m not trying to find a class to get skinny, although that would be nice. This is just the first step to finding balance in my life that includes time to take care of myself. We have to do that, not just for us, but our families too.
Be brave, try something new and find YOU. You deserve it and your family does too.