I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual. (The Message Bible, 35)
Speaking of flexibility, today I attended a yoga class for the first time in years. Traditionally I have hated going to any kind of class for exercise, because I was so paranoid that everyone in the class was staring at me. I can remember enjoying yoga alright in the past, but feeling too self conscious to want to keep attending. For years, I shunned group exercise and contented myself with solo power walking. Then fibromyalgia disrupted my life. I no longer can walk long distances and I need exercise that is easy on my joints. I tried water aerobics and I did enjoy it, but lazy person that I sometimes am, I don't like taking the time to put on a bathing suit. Also, I just did not feel adequately worn out when I was done-the session was over and I felt like I could have kept on going for a lot longer. So, today I tried yoga. My sponsor also has fibromyalgia and she claims it really helps her and I did remember sort of liking it before, so when my mom found a studio in Snellville that she thought I would like, I decided to give it a try.
My experience was a lot like the experience I had when I tried water aerobics. My joints did not hurt while doing it and I actually enjoyed myself. I had trouble doing a couple of the poses and the instructor had to help me a few times, but unlike my previous sessions, I was not embarrassed. One thing that helped me was that I went to a small studio, so there were not that many people. Also, like with the water aerobics class, my instructor was not a skinny mini! Words cannot express how much her body type eased my anxiety! The instructor was not huge- she just wasn't stick thin. In fact, her body type is remarkably similar to mine. Seeing someone with an average body size be flexible and okay with her body inspires me. Maybe one day I will be really fit too. I am already on my way to feeling good about my body and I am sure this class will help.
With this class I felt satisfied when it ended, so I signed up for a monthly pass. Hopefully, I will be faithful and this class will become a regular part of my week. I am also hoping that this class will help me want to exercise for the sake of exercising and not to lose weight. I want to want to exercise, because it raises endorphins and strengthens the heart. I want to want to be healthier and not just be another womyn who wants to lose weight. Since I already am a healthy eater and I am not going to starve myself anymore, if I lose weight at all, it probably won't be a lot. I am trying to be okay with this. I am trying to want to exercise for the right reasons. I know I do want recovery with my full heart and I would be lying if I were to say that exercise does not trigger thoughts of weight loss, but life is a journey. I know that if I keep on doing an exercise that feels good to my body, then eventually I will come to believe that I deserve exercise solely for the purpose of bettering myself and my emotions and not for losing weight. Today I made a committement to keep attending the class and I am for the first time excited about the thought of getting better at a kind of exercise. I can be fit at the size I am. I am me and that is okay.