I know this will come as a shock, but I’m not straight. You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, knew that. You told us you’re bi.” That’s not the kind of not-straight I’m talking about.
You see, I’m crooked. Not in the corrupt sense, but in the I’m-not-symmetrical sense. Few human beings are (Denzel Washington’s supposedly a notable exception) but I’m particularly … unique. One ear is higher than the other (yep, wearing glasses sucks), my smile is a crooked smirk that goes up on one side and down on the other, and it turns out, one hip is higher and further forward than the other.
I discovered that a few years ago when I had excruciating lower back pain. So bad I could hardly walk. In a couple of sessions a chiropractor got me realigned, but when I asked if I should come back on a regular basis, he said, “Hell no, go to yoga.” So I did.
I found to a place in Lansing that’s donation based, focuses on giving back to the community, and welcoming to all types of people (and dogs! They have dog and owner yoga classes!). It’s not the kind of yoga studio you go to in your most expensive Lululemon gear to show off how bendy you are. It’s the kind of place you go because you want to feel amazing after. That’s not to say other yoga studios can’t offer that kind of experience, but this is a very nurturing place. Designed to meet you where you’re at instead of making you feel inept for not being able to do as well as the instructor or the person on the mat next to you. As someone who has never been graceful or coordinated (turns out the crooked hips may have played a part in that) and in fact spends a good deal of her life feeling damn awkward, this was the perfect fit for me. I floated home from the class so high on endorphins I probably wasn’t safe to drive.
For the better part of a year I went on a regular basis, two to three times a week when I could, and when a friend joined me, it was even better. I felt healthier and happier, less stressed, and all around amazing. Well, unfortunately after a while I got busy with my writing and she moved to Chicago and I just stopped going. Other than going to one class some time in the depths of the hellish winter we had, it’s been over a year since I’ve gone. Yikes.
Not surprising, considering my RL job and writing schedule, but now that I’ve cut back my work hours a smidge I’ve been trying to find a better balance for my time. Nothing helps me accomplish that more than yoga, so I made plans to go this weekend. Turns out my yoga pants had a hole in a most inappropriate place–yikes!-but I picked up a new pair of pants and went on Saturday morning.
The instructor was new to me, and the class was AH-MAZING. As someone who has a long torso, short arms, and an, erm, ample chest, sitting at a desk all day for work and then coming home to write does not do my back any favors. By the time I left the class my back and hips were looser than they had been in a year, I had that nice glowing high I’d so dearly missed, and my muscles ached pleasantly.
Yeah. Yoga’s awesome.
I sent a goal for myself that I’ll go once a week without fail. Would I love to do three days? Hell yes. But realistically I can manage one and I don’t want to overload myself.
Balance is my goal.
Yoga helps me balance physically and mentally. Adding an hour of yoga a week will actually make me more productive and better able to write. The calm and mental quiet I feel after class is so good for productivity.
Who knows, maybe at some point I can work my way back up to a few times a week.
Oh, and as if I couldn’t love the yoga studio more? Well, they’ve started a LGBTQ (and ally!) class that “… offers a safe and nurturing space for exploring moving our bodies and connecting with our spirit … Poses are taught considering various possibilities like recent surgeries, the effect of hormonal changes or overall body image/identification issues.”
Yeah, definitely the kind of place I want to support.