Back when I was finding myself paralyzed in chairs at work, my yoga teacher friends begged me to try a class. They saw I was suffering. They promised yoga would help if only I would give it a chance.
I couldn’t do yoga, I said, because I am a hyperactive person and yoga would make me scream. Also, yoga gave me headaches. Also, I couldn’t afford classes. Also, I didn’t want to.
At my unhealthiest point, I visited my friend Laura who has been an accidental guru for me since I was seventeen. I magically do whatever she says. Laura said go to yoga, and I was all, okay.
During my first foray into yoga world, the teacher suggested I try the gentle asana everyone else was doing. It was called Vajrasana, and all I basically had to do was sit on my knees. I was like the Tin Woodsman. I could barely move. I was sitting on my butt with my legs out in front of me. This is the best I can do, I said. She looked concerned. She looked like she wished she had a can of oil to offer me.
The first class was awkward. But I felt better after. For the first time in years, I felt better in my body. It was such a relief.
Yoga flowed from there. A wonderful yoga teacher in my city happened to be offering a Baron Baptiste 40-Day Personal Revolution workshop, which I joined. My life was on a much better track when the 40 days were over. I had a lead on a great job, which I ended up landing. I lost weight. I could move. I felt better. Yoga and meditation changed everything.
I am no longer the Tin Woodsman as long as I’m in practice. If I go too long without getting on my yoga mat, things start feeling tight and weird like I’m made of, well, tin.
This year, I step up my yoga game to include more classes a month, and more practice at home. I’m grateful for a healthy body that responds to attentive care. Yoga is my thank-you note to my muscles, bones, and spirit for coming back to me when I called them.
Check out this lady in her nineties. Isn’t she cool?
If you are brand new to yoga, check out this sun salutation video and try a few of those. Better yet, try a class. After, write about the emotions that came up during different poses. Did you encounter any resistance in yourself to this practice? How did you feel after?
List the times in your life, even from childhood, when you faced challenge and got through it. What traits do you possess that enable you to get through difficulty? Remember the times when you have proven to yourself that you are strong, resilient, and flexible.
What is your intention for today? What personal characteristic do you intend to develop today?
Consider trying the 40 Days to Personal Revolution for yourself. There are many journal prompts included, and it is very easy to follow. You don’t need a workshop or a teacher to do the program. I revisit the process every year during Lent, and I’m never sorry.