Recently I went back to doing hot yoga. It is something I really enjoy but with so many things going on, honestly it can be hard to find the time. Yoga is so different that any other exercise I've ever done; there is no noise, no cellphone, no interruptions.. it's just you and your yoga mat. I find that so refreshing. I started by reminding myself that a goal of mine is "to get comfortable with being uncomfortable".
I then decided to practice yoga in just leggings and a sports bra. You have NO IDEA how much I struggled with this. How could something so small and insignificant be that important to me? Then the anxiety kicked in; my shameful thoughts poured in.. like "won't everyone be looking at you"? "Won't your stretch marks show"?
I am usually the 'only' fully clothed person in this 105 degree room! How bizarre is THAT? I decided I would give it a try. Not only is it very annoying (it also makes you feel the heat even more) BUT it's uncomfortable having to always adjust my clothing in between poses. When I got there I took off my shirt, adjusted my sports bra and high waisted leggings and proceeded to step inside.
Immediately my anxiety told me to leave but I ignored those thoughts. And guess what? For once I felt free! It's ironic how something so trivial and stupid made me feel free. I quickly came to the conclusion that I spend way to much time body shaming myself and NOT enough time loving myself. Loving THIS body, MY body in all it's glory. Stretch marks and all.
As I scanned the class I realized one important thing: no one gave a fuck! SURPRISE! To my dismay, no one was staring at me like I thought they would be. No one cared about my tummy or stretch marks. Surprisingly enough, when everyone was doing the poses, particularly the trikonsana pose (see pic below), everyone else's body was exposed too. I realized that I would vow to practice hot yoga in just a sports bra and leggings. I would allow myself to be in the moment and relish this new victory.
By removing that constriction, I would have a better class. I did and I'm so glad that I did. I left that day with a renewed strength I realized I didn't have. Maybe testing your limits isn't so bad after all?
Maybe NOT being fully clothed in a 105 degree room for hot yoga ISN'T the end of the world.. maybe, just maybe I can start to love the body I have while working towards the body I'd like.