I’ve never been called “graceful”. My grandmother nicknamed me “Grace” as a joke. It was the oxymoron to the constant fumblings and bumblings of someone who couldn’t walk a straight line without teetering from one side to the other. I could have invented (and often used) the “I tripped over a molecule” joke. Blame it on my five foot, six-inch frame, resting uncarefully on size 6 1/2 feet. I’m probably too big for my tootsies, and this could be the culprit for the weak ankles I’ve had since childhood.
I’m starting to feel the changes in my body, slowly. It’s a gradual shifting, and when my toes dig into the yoga mat, balancing me, steadying my body, I feel stronger. Not just on the outside, but mentally. I’m more relaxed. When I breathe, the breaths are deeper, a purpose to them. I’m often high-strung and crave order in my world, and that all melts away when I’m in a yoga class. None of it matters. The persistent thoughts that nag at me float away and don’t exist when I’m bent over in a bow pose, or working every muscle, stabilizing myself in the toe stand.
I am not in this for glory. I don’t expect to ever look as polished as the photos here. I want to enter the competition to challenge myself. To compete against my own restrictions. The uncoordinated, off-kilter Sara. I want to do the best that I’m able to do, and learn the self-discipline it takes to get there. So far, after attending my first competition class at my yoga studio, none of this is taken lightly. The way I enter into a posture, tiny little nuances like how my toes are positioned, or how I grip my foot while standing head to knee (that’s a tough one for me), it’s all important, and what I’m realizing is, it’s mostly mental. The barriers I’ve put myself into, it’s mental, and yoga is helping me to break through those barriers.
I notice I stand with better posture. When I start to get upset over something, or agitated, irritated… my breathing becomes deeper, and I calm down. I am caring more about the way I carry myself. I care less about the little things, and I just feel better, if that makes sense. Yoga has been a way for me to find peace, and balance. Just an hour here and there has given me so many benefits! I’m excited. I’m excited to see where this journey leads me, to see the changes, inward as well as outward. Evolving.
If you want to learn more about yoga, check out a local yoga studio in your area. If you’re interested in learning more about USA Yoga, you can visit their website.