My first yoga teacher was Suzanne Deason. She doesn’t know that. We’ve never met. About 10 years ago, I ordered Yoga for Weight Loss on a whim because I heard yoga was great for stretching. Several times a week I would do yoga in my home with a leotard clad Suzanne bending in the desert to delicate harp music. Honestly, I giggled throughout most of it. We all have preconceived notions about what yoga is or isn’t, and at that point in my life, a thin woman twisting in a leotard in Santa Fe was EXACTLY what I thought yoga was.
Since then, I have practiced many styles of yoga: Kundalini, Baptiste, Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Variyoga, and everything in between. I now know that you don’t have to have a leotard to practice yoga. You don’t have to be thin. You don’t even have to be calm.
The biggest lesson, I have learned throughout my training process, is that yoga is available for every body. I am just beginning my teaching journey, and I am honored and humbled by the outpouring of support and excitement by my friends. I hear much of the same reservations when people say they want to come to class. “Don’t laugh at me.” “No one wants to see ME do yoga.” “I’m not flexible!” “I can’t quiet my mind to meditate.” All of these reservations are precisely what yoga can help with. It won’t build confidence, flexibility, or stillness of mind. Yes, I just said that, and I will say it again. Yoga won’t build confidence, flexibility, or stillness of mind. It will just allow you to see how beautiful, flexible, and calm you ALREADY are. Did thoughts start coming up just then? Is your mind trying to talk you out of believing in your beauty, your strength?
I encourage you to join me on this journey. My yoga selfie isn’t a thin woman in the desert. It’s an average woman wearing pajamas with a shoulder injury in her living room. They are both beautiful, strong, flexible, and calm. Yoga is for both of them. Yoga is for every body.