Sunday, October 26

Like A Hefty Bag

Today is Sunday and that means it's Yoga Day. Now, I'm not saying that I'm the very very best yogi in the world, present or past - but I do fairly well for a pedestrian. We're in class working on wide leg forward folds - which look something like this:
and the instructor comes up behind me and starts correcting my position. This is fine; rather, lovely. I love being corrected in my position because that way I know I'm doing it right and it can be difficult to look at yourself in the mirror when you're upside down. But then she says: "You're flexible but you need to work on your strength."


Then, after class she was giving some stretching tips to my sister-in-law and I overhear her saying: "We're not naturally flexible like her (meaning me) but we're strong."

Okay, what?

I'm not naturally flexible. I had to work at it. I remember when I was in ballet I would lay in bed in frog position and fall asleep that way so that my hips would be more turned out. In class we would sit in our splits and then have someone push on our shoulders. I have stretch marks on my inner thighs as evidence of sitting against the wall with my legs split wide open for minutes at a time. I used to stand with my back to a wall and a classmate would take a leg and push it to the wall. These exercises and stretches were extremely painful and I agonized over my lack of flexibility in comparison to the other girls. But when I commented on their natural flexibility a girl told me that it still hurts - it always hurts and is uncomfortable, she just has a different level where it becomes unbearable. Flexibility is good for the body, but it takes WORK. I'm not trying to say that I'm above improvement, because I am most definitely not, but I WORK and have worked really fucking hard to be as flexible as I am - and underneath my bendiness I am strong. I've been going to yoga for a couple of years now and I work hard in class. Yoga poses take a lot of strength to hold. Does she think that I can hold my yoga poses properly because my legs are weak? Needless to say, she pissed me off. She's lucky I love yoga so much and that she is a good enough teacher that I'm willing to overlook her hated comments.

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