I started practicing yoga back in 2011, and I was still overweight at that time. I am a former dancer and I believe I was a yogi in soul and heart before I ever stepped on a mat, just like I was a poet before I ever penned my first poem. Some gifts are just part of your spirit, it just takes time for your body and mind to play catch up.
I was walking down the street at that time, and ran into a friend of mine, who was with a friend of hers. Her friend was a stranger to me, and when I mentioned I practiced yoga she shot out, you do yoga?
That hurt me deeply. I believe yoga is for everyone, whether you are overweight or in the best shape of your life. I did not understand the comment because to me yoga was about the mind and body connection, not who looks the best in their lululemons. Yes, I was over 210 lbs, but who was this person to question my passion for yoga.
Flash forward to present day, after my fifty pound weight loss. I sent my photo to a magazine calling for meditation photos in nature and I was really hoping this photo would be picked. It was not picked, and that opened the flood gates of not feeling good enough, or that my body did not fit the norm of what a yogi looks like. It brought back that comment from 2011.
I love this photo because I was simply stretching my back on this beautiful uprooted tree, and Melissa Bender from Benderfitness snapped it without me knowing. What I really love about this photo is it is me in my element. I love trees and water, and I was perfectly at home stretching and finding my serenity on that pillar of wisdom with the bay as my backdrop.
Even though I lost 50 lbs, I am far considering myself an after, I am more like a work in progress. I have so many fitness goals/fitness milestones to accomplish and I wish to be stronger and in the best shape of my life. With that I also would love to believe my view of my own body has improved and that I no longer bully my body. I am human, and far from flawless and sometimes I do succumb even after my weight loss to feeling like I am not good enough or I do not fit in the circles of yoga and fitness. I felt like I was rejected and started to really bullying my own body. I let a moment of rejection take away the beauty and stillness that was meditating on that exquisite fallen tree.
I realized I was negating all of my hard work and sacrifice and not showing gratitude to my healthy body. I went back to that photo, regained my composure and realized what such a moment in nature felt like to me.
I am grounded and centered, and when my zen is uprooted, I connect back with the earth below my feet and find my balance once again. I am a work in progress.