It seems like a strange time to announce this given everything else that is going on in my life, but I am starting Yoga Teacher Training this FRIDAY!! I only found out that I would be going for sure on December 13th and SO much has happened since then I havn’t really been telling anyone.
This is an amazing opportunity for me and a journey that I am SO excited to start on. It will be a lot of work but it will be worth it in the long run, and I hope to one day facilitate a body image centered yoga workshop and maybe take free yoga classes to local eating disordered communities.
The only major problem with this wonderful step I am taking in my life is that I am feeling a lot of fear and shame, 100% of which is due to my eating disorder and body image. I am afraid and embarrassed to tell anyone that I am starting this training – I worry that they will judge me for being the size and body type that I am. I worry that they will laugh at me for even attempting to get into the role of a teacher and role model for a group of people who are SO used to a thin and athletic body type. My studio is amazing in that there are a number of different body types in leadership positions and all bodies are accepted with the people who inhabit them. No one is too thin, even the tiny ones are incredibly strong and powerful and the ones who are not tiny are normal looking people. In a few months I will be the largest yoga teacher I have ever seen and I am so afraid to stand at the front of a room and teach yoga to a group of people. What will they think of me? Will they take me seriously? All the awful feelings and thoughts from my post on shame come front and centre, threatening to bury me as I open myself up to the beauty and vulnerability that the next few months of teacher training will be.
I am afraid, but that doesn’t mean that I have to stop moving in the direction of my dreams.
I may be mocked, judged, laughed at and ostracized but I have to be ok with that.
No, I have never seen a yoga teacher that is my size – but that isn’t evidence that it shouldn’t exist, if anything its evidence that it needs to exist. Yoga is about connection, healing, vitality, exploration, movement, self-improvement and community – the body is a vessel not the primary focus. Getting the body to take different forms and shapes is one of the goals of yoga, but nowhere does it say that you have to fit into a size 2 Lululemon crop pant. The effects on the physicality of the body are secondary and happen organically as a side effect of the work you do through the poses, biceps and abs are bonuses, not prerequisites.
So, on Friday I will do my best to walk into the training with my head held high. I will not apologize for my body or feel ashamed of the shape it is at the moment. I will do my best to stay strong and not let my eating disorder voice get it’s filthy little paws on my mind – I will not let it poison me or all the hard work I have done. I am going to walk into that room and take a chance, I am going to believe that no one is judging me for my body even if I am presented with what my mind thinks is evidence to the contrary. I am going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and trust that they will love me for the merits of my personality not the size of my body.
I will let you know how it all goes next week but if I go into this with the right mindset, there is very little that can go wrong.
I am choosing to be brave instead of afraid, to take a chance instead of stepping down from a great opportunity. I’m not less scared, but I’m going to do it anyway. Wish me luck!