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Out of my comfort zone

Have you seen the video of me hoola-hooping on Facebook and Instagram? No? well you are missing a spectacle, that is for sure!

It happened at the local Hazeldean market, I was asked by the organizer to hoop for a video to promote the studio and the market. The first thought in my head was that nobody needs to see this girl moving her tummy and hips in excess! But the power of persuasion is a big one.

Actually it happened to me twice last week.

On Thursday I was having a day, and I was in quite the mood and it was time for me to teach yoga in the park. And usually yoga of any kind makes me feel a whole world of better, so I was looking forward to teaching the class in nature. But then, people started to come, and more people, and more people. Out of a class of 11, one was my husband, one was a repeat customer and one was her daughter.

And to be completely honest I was intimidated. I am used to teaching yoga to a certain demographic, and the people that came to the park looked like they would expect a particular type of yoga that is offered at a more mainstream yoga studio. I got completely in my head and overwhelmed, I was thinking "who the hell am I to teach these people yoga?" "I will never be able to give them the yoga they are looking for or are used to".

I felt completely off my game. I felt like I had to teach a certain way, like I had to prove that I am actually a yoga teacher. From a yogic aspect there are so many things wrong with this, and clearly I was operating from my limbic system. My inner voice was telling me that I wasn't safe, my inner critic was telling me that I wasn't worthy, good enough, skinny enough, 'yoga' enough.

So twice this week I had to force my body into the spotlight and out of my comfort zone.

Its different when I am in my studio, in the safe place that I have built for myself, my teachers and my clients.

Why am I telling you this? Well firstly, for you to know that you are not alone. You may be scared or nervous to come to the studio and do yoga because of your body or your ability, and I want you to know that even owning a studio, I get self conscious, nervous, anxious and shy.

I am also telling you this, so that you know that when you come to my studio that its okay to be nervous. Its okay to be completely out of your comfort zone. Its okay for you to cry in the car before you come studio is the least scary studio that you could find. There is nobody there that is trying to make themselves look better than you, or make you look a fool. You dont have to be able to touch your toes or even get on the floor. We have chairs for that, chairs that are rated for 500 pounds. We have extra padding for under your knees or wrists and we have straps to help extend the lenghts of your arm to bring your feet to you. Our yoga is non-performative. Our yoga is about coming into your own body, not about trying to be something your not. At our studio we invite you to check in with yourself at the beginning of practice and then again at the end; to know how the practice effected your mental and physical health.

And you know what? if the class is full of new people, I may be nervous too. I will almost guaranteed mix up my lefts and rights, forget the sequence or not be able to hold a pose. I may be breathing hard and need to take a sip of water or fix my pants while I catch my breath.

Its a thing in the yoga world right now to say that they teach accessible yoga or that their yoga is for every body. Ugh, I hate that, because it is just not true. Not all studios have teachers with training to teach to large bodies, aging bodies or bodies with different abilities. And so many yoga studios say they are for every body but often anyone over a size 12 is considered 'plus size' and is often told to 'just take Childs pose if you cant do the sequence'.

My studio truly is for everybody...

  • Do you want a gentle class that is a good stretch but not too hyper? Try Gentle Yoga on Thursdays at 5:45

  • Are you looking for a class that you don't have to be able to get up and down from the floor? Try chair yoga six times a week.

  • Do you want to learn more about your body and why you move the way that you do? therapeutic yoga on Tuesday at 10:30 is a great body awareness adventure.

  • Do you want a more traditional yoga that takes your body and brain on a trip? Try Sakalya Yoga with Matt on Sunday at 10:00. This class is active, with chanting, great music and breathwork.

  • Do you want to stretch and strengthen your body at the same class? Sara's stretch and Strengthen on Saturday at 10:30 is a great choice, challenging yet accessible.

  • Vibrant Yoga on Tuesday evening at 6:45 is a great option for people that like an energetic yoga, that gets your heart pumping and clears the cobwebs from the mind.

  • Yin is an amazing practice that is based in Traditional Chinese Medicine and takes relaxation to a whole other level. This class is on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 and will leave you feeling like your walking on a cloud.

  • If you're an early bird we have Rise and Shine at 6:30, again, totally accessible for all humans.

  • Are you looking for a general yoga class that is not too challenging, not too easy but is the right level to get you ready for the rest of your day? Start your day at 9:00 am offered Monday through Friday is a lovely way to start your day off in the right mood. Yoga Bliss would also be a great choice, Friday at 10:30 am.

  • Do you work later in the evening or need to get the kids to bed before yoga? We have a Relax and Unwind class at 8:15 that will get you ready to sleep peacefully.

  • Sunday Surrender at 7:30 is a class designed to get you prepared for the week ahead, to nurture yourself before the demands of other people and the coming week.

I like to say that we offer all kinds of yoga, every kind of yoga, but really that's not true. We don't offer hot yoga, Ashtanga or Arial. We do offer yoga for people who like fast yoga and we offer yoga for those who want to take it a bit gentler. We do offer more traditional yoga and we offer classes that we have designed ourselves. So, if you want to do yoga we have classes for you, they are just not performative, it isn't gymnastics and it isn't meant to help you lose weight or get a six pack.

So if coming to yoga is out of your comfort zone, that is truly okay. I get it. I can tell you though from experience that you will be okay, I'll be there with you maybe doubting myself too. But, I have learned that every time I doubt myself and do the thing anyway, I am a little better for it. Even hoola-hooping on social media.

PS. I have a you not get massages because you don't want to get naked in front of anyone? even a massage therapist? How would you feel if we started offering clothed massages? What are your thoughts? Send me an email and let me know!

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