Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Am That Sweaty Yogi (And I Will Hug You After Class Anyway)

Today during a fantastic Bhakti flow class, I looked around the room of 100 of us packed like sardines, mat to mat. I listened to the sound of ujjayi moving in waves throughout the room. I met my edge with compassion, working as hard as the teacher asked.

I felt the heat around me, the energy of the bodies doing the yoga.

Photos below via Pinterest.

And I laughed a little noticing the way my mat was one of the ones covered in sweat. I mean, hot mess status.

Sometimes I am self conscious about my slippery hands, the drops that linger on and around my mat, the way my hair's all over the place. I'm that sweaty yogi, I think, wondering if people are noticing. Is the teacher secretly grossed out by giving me adjustments?

Then there are some days I feel badass in my practice. Like I am glowing. Like I am meant to sweat, and I could care less what anyone else thinks.

Photo via Pinterest.

What I realized today, though, is that nobody really cares. When you are in the flow, experiencing your yoga, meditating, sweat ceases to be a concern.

When you are really doing yoga, you let your body be as it is, whether it's sweaty or not.

It's your meditation -- your focus in the postures -- your willingness to meet your edge fearlessly -- that inspires others.

Today, toward the end of our two hour class, the lady next to me turned and said, "Your practice is amazing! I can't believe you're doing all that!"

She smiled. And later on, she pushed into full wheel with a groan and whispered, "This one's for you!"

After seeing me working hard, being willing to sweat, she was inspired to push a little closer to her edge, to see what she was capable of. I was so excited about her backbend, and the way the energy in the room was bringing her deeper into her practice.

And after it all, she gave me a big hug, no hesitation about the sweat. :) I felt honored to be an inspiration, hot mess and all!

This is the real yoga. The trusting. The vulnerability. The willingness to love ourselves the way we are, sweaty or silly or whatever. To recognize beauty in others, and to acknowledge that.

The yoga means embodying the true namaste: I see you, I value you. You are beautiful.

So my invitation to you today is this: be as you are. Be unafraid to play in classGive thanks for your body and all that it's capable of. You may just inspire the yogi next to you, and you may just be able to see yourself for what you truly are: gorgeous, even when you're dripping sweat all over your mat.


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