The #rasayogatribe Instagram Challenge happened and I am still mulling it over. Let’s chat about it, ya dig?
If you missed it, this challenge embodied everything Rasa. It integrated every part of the practice. Yoga. Creativity. Community. Soul Alchemy. Mantra. Mudra. Asana. Pranayama. Meditation. Check it out!
Before this training, yoga was my secret. My mat has seen all of the different parts of me. The tears, the frustration, the laughter, the embarrassment, the fear, the challenge, the triumph, the balance, the monkey brain, the breath, it is all mine. I didn’t allow too many people in to see all of the different parts, because they seemed just too messy, too much. So I kept it on the mat just for me. When I committed to this program, I didn’t realize that I made the decision to completely change that. All I knew was that I didn’t want to settle for a job that made me miserable the majority of the time. I didn’t want to have something that completely consumed me, unless it was out of pure love and I wanted to find whatever that was. When my grandfather passed away, I immediately wanted to take back every moment that I was late or missed a family function because of work. I wanted just a few more minutes to laugh together, because those were the moments that held my breath. I wanted to be able to fully embrace moments of love and laughter with the cool people in my life. So I started thinking about what other moments truly held my breath and how I could have more of them. Well Yoga. Yoga was the only place that I could honestly think of where I felt true acceptance for whatever I had going on. Now sharing whatever I had going on through yoga on social media was NOT part of my plan. Ever. Sharing it on a blog was never part of my plan either, but what the heck, we shouldn’t make shitty plans! This challenge literally brought me to my knees. I am sure you are thinking, that’s weird it was 5 days of posting pictures and quotes, what could be so difficult about it? UH, well all of the judgment, self-hate, and criticism, THAT is what. I was so mean to myself all week long. I made Grant take at least a dillion photos of me and I expected him to know exactly what I was envisioning for the shot without saying any words. (He nailed it by the way) Day 3: ASANA. The one day I almost quit the challenge. The one day I dreaded from the get go. I was scared. Day 3 was by far the hardest day and mostly the entire reason for this post.
I just have to come out and talk about this yoga pose, and the self doubt thing. I chose to do a variation of Vasisthasana and then proceeded to pick apart my body for a couple of hours. I was looking at photos on Pinterest, Instagram, and my yoga books, you know just a little comparison and I just did not look like any of those beautiful people in the photos. “My foot was flat, was it supposed to be flat? Hers is, but his is not. My hips are drooping; well see now they are too high. My shoulders need to be perfectly aligned. Does my face look fat? I think it does. Ew.”
Plus the variation of the pose is for beginners, which was hard to swallow, but I wanted to share something that I was actually working on and loving to put into my practice. I was feeling like I was in the arena with some serious yogis and I did not belong there. Which by the way has been a pretty reoccurring feeling throughout this experience. Seriously the people in this program are truly incredible and I feel immensely grateful to be in their presence each weekend. I also feel as though I am just trying to hang with the cool kids, doing this thing that I am not that great at, which is uncomfortable. Flexibility is hard. (My hamstrings are so tight.) I am a work in progress and posting that on social media is not exactly popular. I wish I could do the splits, but is that realistic for my body today? No, ab-so-fucking-lutely not and that is okay.
Social media is tough for me. I go back and forth between wanting to be a successful blogger, writer, yogi, photographer, influencer and wanting absolutely nothing to do with social media. The lens that I choose time and time again is too harsh and full of comparison. Completely black or white. Can anyone relate?
So after stressing about a photo for way too long and beating myself up about it, I finally posted it. All I knew was that I wanted to show up just the way I am right now in this challenge no matter how uncomfortable it was, because that is what I am here to do. So guess what? It was posted and it is still there and it turns out after all that, the people I love were super supportive and my teacher even commented on the photo. (I mean fan girl, I was not a total failure! This was total a win.)
I guess my point is don’t let the photos of years of practice and perfection get in the way of sharing where you are at right this second, the people that matter will love and support you even if you are in child’s pose. The process, the practice, the variation, is what counts as we continue to learn to love ourselves more and more throughout every wave of this life. I will continue to find more ways and moments to remind myself to love and laugh with the cool people in my life.
Grant, thank you for reading this. Thank you for supporting me in every way possible and being my forever photographer. You are such a wonderful friend to journey through this life with!
Friends, I hope you have more moments of love and laughter with yourself and the people in your life, because they love you and support your breath no matter how unsteady. Also, keep posting pictures and sharing exactly where you are now, because I love you for it and you inspire me to genuinely be okay with myself in the moment. Thank you!