Not really much of an athlete?
I can relate. Until my last few years at college, I imagined I would forever stay in the athletic hall of shame. I lacked any upper body strength, little endurance, and had zero hand-eye coordination. My teenage body started to rebel and gave me a nice little layer insulation by 16. I felt like I had to do something active, not to mention, everyone else in school was knee-deep in swim, tennis, or whatever sports practice. As an act of desperation, I even ran track in high school… for half a season. Let’s just say practice for me would include at least 10 minutes of hiding in the bushes during long runs.
While yoga didn’t necessarily help me hit tennis balls, I do feel like it’s helped my athletic ability. Like I said in my practice principles, yoga is for any body. You don’t have to have certain body type to participate. After practicing for about a year, I noticed a dramatic change in my balance, strength, and mobility. As I felt more confident about my body’s abilities, I started trying other physical activities like weight lifting, rock climbing, biking-I even started running again. I was an athlete… I just never had the confidence. Because of yoga, I was actually enjoying sports. With all of the physical stability and mobility training, it laid the groundwork that I needed in order to participate in sports.
Additionally, I internalized one of yoga’s foundational lessons:
Find comfort within discomfort.
I’m not afraid to try new sports, and I’m not afraid to fail or look silly (when you fall out of headstand 1,000 times while teaching, you learn to embrace the embarrassment). I still can’t hit a ball or throw, but I’ve learned to lean into discomfort and try new things. I enjoy a lot of sports now- lots of sports I would have never dared to try before. Life becomes playful when you look for comfort in discomfort.
Bonus Question: Do you regularly cleanse your house with sage while chanting “om”?
No? Neither do I 🙂