For someone who loves to move as much as I do, who spends as much time exercising, who could make a bed out of the mounds of Lycra I own, you’d think yoga would be one of those things I do regularly. But alas, no. I’ve done yoga probably a total of about four times in my life and I sucked in every class. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t seem to get it. But when I was invited to a class taught by international Instagram Yogi sensation, Jessica Olie, last weekend, I swallowed my pride and took to the mat.
Over 150 Jessica super fans turned out to join in this session with her. It’s what I find both inspiring and intimidating about yoga, is that its devotees seem so HARDCORE.
I have a reasonable degree of flexibility, but trying to fold myself pretzel-like into some of these yoga poses leaves me flustered, frustrated and antsy. I kept up with the class as best I could, reverting to Child’s Pose (pretty much the only yoga pose I seem to have a firm handle on) whenever my body was near breaking point.
Then I’d look around and see the 150 other women, some of them effortlessly flinging themselves into back bends where their toes touch their heads, but more often than not, struggling, just like me. They lost the grip, they slipped, they couldn’t keep their legs perfectly straight but they had this steely determination, this quiet resolve to just stick with it.
And sure, I have that in me, but I spend my days in a packed, sweat-drenched spin studio, where I drive others to hammer it and be their best for 45 minutes – when it’s all adrenaline like that, I can do it. But the slow, tempered pace of yoga makes me feel vulnerable. There’s time there, in the long inhales and exhales, to really focus on how I’m not getting it right and my ego just throws little hissy fits every time.
That’s what I came to realise about my noga practice during that yoga practice. While I really try to live my life from a non-ego driven place, there are definitely still places it rears its ugly head – like in a Sunday morning yoga sesh with 150 other people.
The teacher Jessica Olie gave some really great advice at the end of the class, essentially about not being scared to suck and that it’s all part of the process.
I can’t say I’m a yoga convert yet, but I’m glad I opened myself up to the experience. I’m also glad I got to wear these new leggings I got from Shopbop (who are having a sale right now, by the way, and you should totes check it out – use promo code MAINEVENT16 to bag some bargains).
I guess next time I hit the mat, I just have to remind myself that everyone starts somewhere, try to curb my frustrations when I don’t nail something first time and definitely try not to spend 80% of the class in Child’s Pose.