Tonight i graduated yoga teacher training. I started this journey so that i could teach yoga to large women, or people with large bodies. I wanted to teach people that were afraid of yoga. I wanted to create a safe space for all people. I wanted to defy the idea that yoga was for skinny white ladies in high end stretchy pants.
I wanted to stare down the shame that had taken up residence in my body and tell it that it was no longer welcome. I wanted to experience myself without shape and without running from the reality of my shape. I wanted to be infinite to be God and I wanted to be held and be loved by God.
I wanted to be strong, stable and absolute and definite about myself. I wanted to be flexible and expansive and noncommittal to any identity.
I decided to pour my trust into my teachers. I decided to have faith. I would commit to taking the directions they gave me to heart without question. I fought the urge to overthink and intellectualize everything. I agreed to feel everything and do everything that was asked of me.
And oh my God! I learned so much!
I learned that having faith is possible and worth it. I learned that there are people that I could have faith in. I learned that It is easy to love everyone if you can just look at them in the heart and see who they are and when you do that, they can’t help but see you right back and love you in return.
I learned a lot more Sanskrit than I thought possible.
I learned how to sing in front of people without wanting to die.
I learned that I have a lot to say.
I learned how to lift my arches!
I learned that everything I want for the world, which is for all beings to to be liberated form oppression and confusion, is something that yogi’s have been working on for centuries.
I learned how to dwell on the gratitude I feel all the time.
I learned how much my family loves watching me do great things even when it is hard on them.
I learned about my body and how strong and amazing it is.
This body has been scrutinized since I was born. I have always felt that it was too big. Even when it wasn’t. I know that many many many people feel this way. They feel like their bodies are wrong even when they aren’t. I have always felt like I was to blame for my size. I can say without hesitation that I have probably spent 50% of my life trying to figure out how to have a different body.
I kept waiting to do things because I wanted to do them whenever I lost weight. I am saying this out loud because I know that there are lots and lots and lots of people waiting to do yoga, buy new clothes, take a vacation, go on a hike, wear a bathing suit or run down the street.
I stopped waiting. I did not wait to do this training. It got done. It took some encouraging and I kind of had to hold my breath and jump in. It got done. I did it.
I learned there is not a damn thing wrong with me.
It is worth noting that I am terrified to teach yoga. But I think I won’t wait to do that either.