Fat chick attempting Yoga part 1

In the midst of all the family and long weekend happenings, I was fortunate enough to have been asked to be a part of an art therapy workshop for women. The goal being to create a safe place for women from all around our community to share and express themselves. The afternoon was scheduled to have two different art experiences and end with a gentle yoga session that would focus on appreciating our bodies. Everyone was enthusiastic and game for whatever the workshop would reveal.

It could not have been a more beautiful day or picturesque venue. The place where we met was on a little local farm that lives right next to the Truckee river just outside the business of town. It was absolutely gorgeous. I guess they make their property available for events, classes and weddings. Understandably…the day was warm and everything was quiet, green and in bloom. You could close your eyes and hear the bubbling water rushing by, birds chirping and soft wind chimes. I felt like I was in a movie.

The farm had a dance studio that we camped out in for the afternoon.
I led the first activity, which was getting the ladies to open up and share their stories with one another. It took hardly any effort on my part because the group we had was so amazingly open and willing to share. We coasted through the next few hours and projects with the time rushing by, it seemed, too quickly. Finally, it was time to wrap up and close the day with a relaxing yoga session.

Now, I have done yoga before…but in the safety of my own home via DVD. I was anxious about doing it “for reals” but I was determined to fully participate. I set out to find a spot in the very back behind everyone else where I could hide. It seems everyone else had the same idea and beat me to it. The only spot left for me and my mat on that hardwood dance floor was up front and center. Ugh. I kicked my shoes off, then my socks. With each moment closing in on the yoga the more the dreamy-ness of my day disappeared…the negative and fearful vibes started to drift in through the open doors and and choke me.

I sat down and willed myself to listen to the instructor and not let, what felt like every burning eyeball on my backside, distract me from at least TRYING to do this. Just being barefoot (my feet!) sitting sorta cross legged on the mat was uncomfortable, I couldn’t imagine what I was in for. I’ll spare the ugly details but I will share that despite the physical difficulty I had, the hardest part was in the being instructed to “BE” in my body. Connect with your body, when your thoughts drift away, come back to your body. Be aware of your legs, toes, arms, belly. Feel them being strong. Feel your body’s strength. Connect.

Boo.

What I had to realize was how very hard I try to NOT be in my body. The effort it takes to constantly disconnect from my body. To FEEL my body means to feel the heaviness, the obstacle of it. How easy it is for me to be confident, strong and vulnerable with my thoughts and feelings…but so weak and fragile and lame when it comes to my actual body and physical ability. I felt so defeated and humiliated. I just sat and cried quietly. Mad at myself. Hating my body for not being able to do what I want it to do. Embarrassed that I couldn’t at least kinda fake it…and pretend. Praying to God that no one would see me crying. I wasn’t prepared to feel so emotional and broken. It ended up being a good and cleansing thing I think, even though I feel like I’m back at square one again and need to focus on speaking truth to myself instead of listening to that old tape.

It may be something I make myself do again? A fat chick attempting yoga part 2? I’m up for a challenge!

We shall see.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. SparkleBaby
    May 28, 2013 @ 08:39:35

    I want pictures!

    Reply

  2. SparkleBaby
    May 28, 2013 @ 08:48:44

    But really….you should go round 2, but we’ll all come with you..,those that truly love you! We can surround you while attempting the downward dog. We’ll pseudoshield you and slowly get you to that place that we can be spread among the others. No one else will matter eventually…….

    Reply

  3. naturerestoresme
    May 28, 2013 @ 09:57:46

    I am in a yoga class that’s so diverse with sizes, ages, and abilities. 1 lady had a hip replacement so she can’t do everything. She brings teddy bears that she has made, props them up on a pillow to “watch” her! And give her strength and encouragement. It’s such a loving class, there is truly no judgment. The most beautiful experience I’ve ever had. I wish you could join us.

    Reply

  4. sharon demattia
    May 30, 2013 @ 15:46:56

    Mandi, I was there and experienced such a lovely day with all of you amazing women. I understand the pressure of being judged, the blockade it imposes and the pain it creates. Make no mistake…you are a beautiful woman, inside and out.

    Reply

  5. shelly
    Jun 14, 2013 @ 17:12:35

    You should try a yin, restorative, or all bodies class. Yoga is more than twisting your body into crazy poses and it will bring so much beauty into your life. Remember that we all were beginners at one point and it’s normal to be afraid. Soon you’ll realize others are there to support you. I love your blog:)

    Reply

    • mandimon
      Jun 14, 2013 @ 18:11:12

      Awesome! Thanks so much for the encouragement and for reading. I’d love to find a class that would allow for me to try again and feel more comfortable.

      Reply

  6. Trackback: Fat Chick Attempting Yoga: Part 2 | Realology

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