This morning I read an article on Huffpost written by author Elizabeth Gilbert. She was encouraging women to have the mindset that they ARE doing enough, and urged women to stop comparing themselves to others to guide themselves toward a life filled with self-satisfaction. It's a trap into which we all fall, men and women alike. I often struggle to stay in the moment- a goal on which I am constantly working- and instead keep a constant checklist in my mind of what needs to get finished later. I admit I can sometimes be a worrier. This article ties in well with the yoga segment my Fit Day participants experienced a month ago with Missy Tyszkiewicz, owner of Move Your Hyde power yoga in Cincinnati. Missy started the class by asking what everyone needed at that very moment, a question she always asks her students before a class. And while you can expect a certain structure to the class, she makes sure to honor specific requests, whether the request is for chest opening exercises, more abdominal work, or practicing inversions. When she asked what our class wanted, we were half and half. Some felt fatigued from the 90 minutes of strenuous activity we just experienced, while some felt ready to go at a higher intensity. She gave us the perfect mixture of both.
Missy's words of encouragement are refreshing to me. She can make me laugh, and then in the next moment, pull in my focus and push my limits beyond what I think is possible. She's funny, knows how to make everyone feel at ease (while dripping with sweat, I might add), and will remind you to "get bossy" with your body from time to time. If you fall out of your handstand attempt, somersault out of your crow or simply don't have the flexibility or balance of the person next to you that day, so what? What is the worst that can happen?
One of Missy's particular strengths as an instructor are her verbal adjustment cues. I feel the difference immediately from her telling me exactly what to do with my back leg or my hips. And when you feel that pose sink in correctly, that feels invigorating. If even for a second you forget everything else, that moment is a success.
Our group left feeling energized after our yoga session- just what we all physically and mentally needed for the day. At the very least, we all got a great workout. But all of us walked away with much more, especially after Missy's message to the group about empowerment. Empower yourself. Empower others. I could see everyone feeling lighter.
So today, I am refusing to criticize myself or compare myself with others. Yoga is great practice for that, wherever you take class. Train yourself to be in the moment, because it does take some training! Remind yourself that not everyone is looking at or judging you. We all have our own journey on which to focus, on and off the mat. And in the words of my Aunt Barb, which I carry with me daily, "worry repels happiness."