A little over a week ago I decided to take my very first yoga class. I have always known that yoga would be beneficial to my training as a runner, and I would practice the poses and stretches that I knew at home. Although not many, the poses that I did know seemed to help, and I got good at them.
Leaving my comfort zone to take a class about something I know little about for personal growth is not really my style. In fact, I’ve only done it one time.
Years ago I realized I had a problem. I have been a waitress for 10+ years. I talk to people I have never seen, know nothing about, and sometimes wish I never saw again as my profession. I am able to carry on full conversations (although sometimes I wish not to) with people I would never dream about talking to, and often times the conversation ends with me asking how they would like their eggs cooked. Many of these people know about the daily dealings of my life that even some of my family and personal friends don’t know about.
Somehow I became so introverted though, that when introduced to people who I actually was interested in, I became a mess. Spitting out a few sentences about who I am and what I like to do all of a sudden became as monumental as giving an inaugural speech. The words that would come out of my mouth were unrecognizable, like I was talking in code. I would realize that I must appear to be very awkward, and I would become even more nervous. I would begin to get flustered and start to sweat.
I knew that this was going to continue to inhibit my social interactions with just regular people. I had to fix it.
Around the same time that I realized this, I was also in the process of going back to school. The very first class I signed up for was Speech. This was a required class, and I hoped that it would fix my social anxiety.
The class taught me to be comfortable in my own skin talking to people, and lots of them. Maybe it was the with the help of my job that allowed me to tune out the judgements and weird stares I got from people who once again I didn’t know. I’m not quite sure, but it worked. It turned out I was very good at delivering speeches, and I got one of the highest grades in the class. I thought I could fix something within myself, and I did.
Back to yoga. So I decided that I was most interested in the hot yoga classes that this particular studio offered. I have heard from friends that hot yoga is simply amazing and does wonders for you. I have also heard though, that hot yoga is not a beginner class.Take note; I don’t pay much to the “proper” order of things. I jumped right into the hour-long hot power yoga session
Right off the bat I noticed things that were unlike anything I had ever experienced in my entire life. The room was dimmed, and music playing was soft, but with a pulsating vibe. The instructor had a cool rhythmic way of expressing thoughts to the class, it was almost mesmerizing. He was encouraging, giving, and understanding of different strengths and attributes of the many individuals bending their bodies further than what they thought possible.
My favorite thing about the class was how optimistic and hopeful he was that everyone in the class would find ways to express and feel love and patience with those around them, and seek opportunities to express themselves in a more loving and patient manner.
These words spoke volumes to me.
I always thought of myself to be a patient person, but recently I have found that my patience wears thin for the silliest reasons. I do not have a difficult life, so my attitude should not reflect one. I know that I do not express love and understanding like most people. I love those around me, but sometimes to them it is hard to see. These are things that I would wake up in the morning, and tell myself to practice throughout the day.
Love and Patience.
These two things seem simple enough, but they are not. I struggled to find ways to teach myself love and patience. I didn’t know where to start, until I went to this yoga class.
Just like how I fixed my weird social awkward problem, I know I have to fix this. Love and Patience.
I realized that at work dealing with people who have absolutely no understanding of the logistics of my job reflect negativity onto me.
I went up to one of my tables today who had to wait for me to take their order because I was busy helping other customers.
I said to them, “I’m so sorry to keep you waiting.”
She said, “Yeah, sure you are.”
This comment brought fire to my chest, and if she didn’t turn her head to look at the menu she may have seen steam coming out my ears. I proceeded to take their order, muttering as few words as possible to them, and realized that all the while she was staring at the menu or her husband, I was glaring at her, burning a hole through her temple. How could she do this to me? I deal with rude people all the time, but why did this particular occurence upset me so much?
Love and Patience.
This was my mantra throughout the day and although previous to this situation I only needed to remind myself of it every so often, it became something I had to keep on repeat in my head for the rest of the day.
It’s not fair to me that a person is able to take away the delight of my entire day. Why did I let this happen? Was it because I was too slow to take her order? No, it’s because I need to practice more love and patience. Apparently she does too. If I had more of these two attributes instilled in me, the rude comment that this customer had made would not have even mattered to me. I would have made light of the situation and went about my day.
I dwelled on the situation for the rest of the day, but not because I was mad or angry. In a way I thank her for reminding me of what I am trying to make better in my life. I will not let her get me down because comments like that are intended to hurt. She will not hurt me.
The yoga class became much more beneficial to me than stretching. It became my place to find myself within and become a better person. I’m not quite sure if that’s part of the goal of the class, but had I known it could change me psychologically and spiritually I would have never hesitated to step out of my comfort zone.
So from now on, I refuse to let people’s negativity get the best of me. I am so thankful that the practice of yoga is there for me to experiment with. Just in the same manner of fixing my social awkward problem I will fix and refuel love and patience within myself. It will be my daily mantra, for as long as it takes.