I find the more I venture into the world of "Yoga," the more I am peeling off layers and getting to the raw me. That's one of those epiphanies, you know, where all of a sudden something clicks and it seems like you just figured out how to stop global warming, but in reality it's more like 1+1=2. Maybe it's the fact that I'm less than a year shy of my 30th. I remember hearing, and I have no idea where I heard this, but 30 was the year. You know, the year where all those feelings of self doubt, body image, etc. drifted away. I am one of the few people who hold the age of 30 in high regard, an amazing accomplishment. Then, I discovered something around the age of...hmmm...26; that sounds about right. I finally stopped partying like I was in college and, well, found yoga. For the first time I stopped...I listened...and of course I talked and talked and thankfully I had a great support system who listened, but hey, that's what I paid her for! And so began my journey of self improvement, which I haven't yet stopped.
I don't need to be the best; there I finally said it. It's something I consider a blessing and also my Achilles' heel . I just need to enjoy myself and feel good in the process. Something incredible about one of my favorite morning classes is that I'm one of the youngest yogis in the room, (come on, do you really think I would go there?) and one of the few that can't balance a handstand in the middle of the room, or do Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I, and I don't even try. There is something about a 71-year-old man balancing on his hands that quickly makes the ego disappear. Instead of it frustrating me, I have no choice but to let it go...I'm not trying to make the Yoga Olympics here, I'm just trying to practice yoga. I might be the "wallflower" that my favorite teacher, Kathryn refers to, but I just haven't seen any scientific proof that balancing a handstand away from the wall or being first in your high school class, or president of a fortune 500, or hell president of the country makes you any happier. I mean Joe Biden looks like he's having a pretty good time, see what I'm getting at?
My mother reminded me of a story recently. I was in 11th grade and heading out for a night at the neighborhood mall with girlfriends. While exiting the house, my mom kindly asked if I studied for my test I had the following day. I told her I had. She then asked if I had studied enough that I would get an A? I told her I had not studied enough for an A, but was confident in securing a B and therefore I would like to spend the remainder of the evening hanging out with friends than wasting my time just to get an A. I think most mothers in that situation would tell their daughters to go back into their bedroom and study until they knew they could secure that A. But instead my mother had this look of contemplation on her face. She couldn't argue with me. Instead as she tells the story to this day, she was proud of the perspective her youngest daughter had. Now obviously that story doesn't work for everyone, but for the type of person I am, for the 4 year state university I would be attending two years down the line, well, then it works out just fine.
I would be lying to say I'm not envious at times of those type A, hardworking, stop at nothing until I reach the top, type of personalities, but envy doesn't change who you are, rather it creates a lot of negative feelings that don't serve a purpose. I spent a long time of my life, well, the 20's feel like an eternity, pretending to be a lot of things that I wasn't. It's exhausting, and it's confusing, but I realize it's part of the process. I'm finally starting to not only be me, but be comfortable being me. I am truly understanding what everyone was talking about when they said something just changes, shifts around the age of 30. And as much as I wish there had been a disclaimer letting me know the work that had to be done to get here, I'm sure I would have just skimmed over it to go hang out with friends anyway.