I was at the gym a few days ago, putting back free weights on the rack when an forty-something year old woman came up to me and said. “You look amazing,”
I was kind of a bitch, I responded, “Excuuuuuuuuse me?”
She answered back, “You’r body, its in good shape!”
I didn’t know how to take it. I replied, “thanks, and tried to let out a smile, but it was very forced. You know, like those smiles you give when a little kid asks you to taste their mud pie (thats actually made of mud) and you tell them its delicious in hopes of no crushing their feelings. Anyhow, I was debating whether or not to even mention it on the blog. The reason for my hesitancy is 1) I dont want to seem like I’m flaunting my body. I’m neither proud or ashamed of my body. I used to be VERY ashamed. I used to be scared of wearing tank tops because I looked like “an African famine victim” (as my roommate described it). I was kicked out several gyms because of my body being so emaciated that they were worried I would be a liability. And this one time in college (when I was near my dangerously low weight) a woman came up to me and said my body looked “spectacular”! You would think that would have made me happy, but it saddened me. She didn’t know how many treadmill hours were clocked in for that body, how many nutrients were lacking, and how much self love was missing. And I can’t say I’m proud of it yet either because although I know I’m healthier, I still think I’m a work in progress. The truth is, even after all the yoga mind/body hoopla I’ve undergone, I still am rather indifferent to my body. I care about it, but I still feel a strong disconnect to the way it looks. For a long time, I’ve tried to avoid confrontation and judgment of it, be it good or bad. I didn’t examine it for too long in the mirror or “look down” in the shower. I just help my head up and kept eating for a while. I suppose these past few months, I’ve started weight lifting more and actually practicing yoga more (because as a teacher, I tend to skimp on my own practice from time to time). Its been a few days since I got the comment, and I examined my arms in the mirror and you know what, I can identify my triceps and my arms are actually having some sort of shape. Hmm…..could this woman actually be on to something? Maybe I should accept the complement, bite the bullet, look in the mirror, and share in her admiration. I would have been more pleased by complement about who I am as a person, as opposed to that exterior. But I must say, after some reflection, maybe I am a little proud. Maybe my pride is a muscle that I still need to work on.
As promised, I wanted to answer some of your questions from the giveaway:
Crystal wrote: “I have not been to a yoga class before and am planning on going soon. Do you have any suggestions for someone for their first yoga class? Any tips?” and Danielle wrote: “Is there a specific type of yoga that beginners should start with? I’m really interested in trying a class, but I’m a little nervous. What to wear, bring, etc.”
I’ll answer both at once:
Well, I’m glad your taking the plunge! Yoga can be intimidating, but any time you go to a class (be it fitness related or not) is a bit scary. I’ve been to spin classes before and it’s not like I don’t know how to ride a stationary bike, but they intimidate me and I haven’t been in one in years). Anyhow, the teacher will instruct how to do the poses, so dont fret if you dont know how to do a certain pose. Its not like they’ll start saying poses and expect you to do them (its a yoga class, not boot camp). Just dress comfortably (leggings or yoga pants, not sweats), bring a clean mat, and maybe introduce yourself to the teacher before hand. I always try to go around and see if I have any new students in my classes so I get to know them better. Most importantly, if you have any injuries, let the teacher know so they can modify poses for you. One last thing, choose the appropriate level class. If its your first time ever doing yoga, I would not recommend and Iyengar or high intensity vinyasa flow class. Best to see if its a beginners or level 1 class. Dont worry, you’ll still get a “workout” in those classes. I actually take level 1 classes more often than higher level ones. I just think they focus on alignment more and I can actually listen to my breath in those classes.
Amanda (from Seek, because there are few readers named “Amanda”) wrote:
“when you first started yoga, did you find it hard to slow your thoughts and really be able to focus and get in to your poses? Sometimes I find myself unable to get through more than 5 minutes without getting bored…”
hmm, well I didn’t feel bored but there have been times, even recently where my mind meanders and I’ve been “bored”. It really just boils down to the teacher. Thais why I mentioned a few posts ago that often the best classes are at actual yoga studios as opposed to gyms. The yoga studios usually have just yoga classes, so they are a lot pickier with the teachers. It’s actually very easy to get a 200 hr ryt training, and gyms that hired me didn’t even ask me to do demo a class! they just looked at my resume and figured I’d be good enough. The right teacher will help you go deeper in to the pose and explain what muscles you should be activating and what not. But believe me, sometimes I am SO not in the mood for yoga, and if I force myself to go to a class those times, I’m bored out of my mind. Don’t push your self though. Do yoga if you’d like to, it will always be there, but its ok to not be into it. But like with food, I’d say try it a few times with different teachers before you rule it out completely. I hated cottage cheese the first few times I had it, now it’s practically a staple in my diet.
I think one of the most gratifying things about having my blog is when I lurk some other blog and I see they have tried out one of my recipes! I just love seeing that! There have been a few bloggers that tried a few of my recipes or were inspired by them, so I though I might “borrow” from another blogger. Last night, I saw this post by Astrid and left a comment asking for the recipe. Sure enough, by morning, she responded with the recipe! So after my sunday morning yoga session, I refueled with her chocolate peanut butter pancakes! I made a few adjustment and although I didn’t mean to, I completely forgot to add cocoa powder into the mix! So I guess mine can’t be called chocolate peanut butter pancakes! Anyhow I had some tofu chocolate pudding on the side, so there’s my cocoa injection. For the pancakes…..
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or any flour, I didnt have ww flour so I used corn flour)
1/4 cup almond milk (any milk)
pinch of baking powder
about 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tbs peanut butter (I used skippy, cant stand ones that aren’t “no stir” its like peanut soup!)
Blend it all together and cook on a skillet. Astrid had them with a banana a greek yogurt. I have this weird aversion to bananas because someone gave them to me when I was really sick as a kid and now I just get nauseous when I eat one, so I had it with my “quick” strawberry jelly and vanilla yogurt.
Dont forget to submit some more yoga questions for the giveaway!
And one last thing…..I updated my site a little but so the recipe page is UP and ORGANIZED!