There was a sub instructor in yesterday's Yoga class. By the looks of her body she was advanced and her rapid, effortless cues through sequences confirmed my thoughts. The sequences of poses were challenging and she spoke with a thick accent which made it a little difficult to follow. After about 15 minutes I wanted to leave class, I had let way too many bad thoughts in and was way too irritated, combined with the rapid sequence of: Downward Facing Dog, High Plank, Upperward Dog. I was being challenged outside of my comfort zone, and I did not like it.
As the rest of the class followed, I returned to Child's Pose to rest, I decided enough and grabbed my socks...In that moment, she cued us to another sequence -- one in which, I could manage, so I joined back in and went with the flow. The flow led us to Warrior 2 pose -- this pose always makes me feel strong, liberated. I was a little wobbly, probably because my mind was so rattled , but as the sequence progressed I began to connect.
It's been a long while since I felt so compromised, vulnerable in a group class. I desperately wanted to leave, get off the mat, and walk out. Walking out would be so easy. So, so easy. Staying there being compromised, challenged, oooooo so very hard. Hard, but gratifying. I realize that I can't progress to the next level if I don't conquer the current level. I'm a huge fan of pro tennis -- Serena Williams is one of my favorite. If she quit because something was too challenging she would not be the champion she is.
There are a number of reasons I could not walk out that room: Pride and character being the top two. I stayed in the classroom because I didn't want the stares as I walked out and I didn't want the guilt of not finishing on my conscience. I didn't walk out because that would have been easy. I didn't leave because that represents - quitting. And, I'm no quitter. I stayed because I'm a woman of strong character who finishes what she starts. Yes, it's only a Yoga class, but as I stated in an earlier blog post Nothing Owns Me. If I can't make it through a challenging Yoga class this type of behavior will start to effect other aspects of my life.
As class came to a close and my eyes were full of tears, I thought of every out-of-shape person (the underdog) who ever felt compromised in a group class - I dedicate this blog post to you. I stayed in that class for me, but as I stood to my feet I realized it was for you too. Don't ever leave because it's challenging, that's the very reason you stay.
**Of course, if you are physically hurt than you would not stay. It's only if you are scared to move outside of your comfort zone -- to challenge yourself that I highly recommend you stay.