Forgiveness. That’s what I decided that was my intention for that first day when I went into my practice. I don’t think I really consciously decided to do yoga for 30 days when I stepped into that room for the first time. But, when the instructor asked us to set the intention for the rest of the practice, at that moment, mine was to forgive.
I wasn’t sure specifically what it was I was forgiving, but somewhere deep down, I had a feeling I had a lot of forgiving to do.
The most forgiveness had to do with myself. To start I was physically not in the place that I wanted to be. I was not as flexible, as strong, and I didn’t have the amount of endurance that I envisioned myself having at this point in my life. I walked into a hot yoga class that I hadn’t really practiced for the better part of two years and was hoping to pick up exactly where I left off.
Where I left off was really not happening.
I spent most of the past two years doing things that we bad for me. I dated the wrong people, I ate the wrong food, I slept/cried/worked/didn’t sleep/partied at the wrong hours. I did a lot of things the wrong way. By no means do I mean that I didn’t produce the right outcome. No. Because here I was, two years later, sitting in a yoga class, after making all the wrong choices, ready to start making the right ones.
But, I wasn’t sure I was ready to forgive.
I carried so much guilt on my shoulders in that moment. I felt I didn’t deserve to be standing where I was. I didn’t deserve the love I have in my life. I didn’t deserve the luxury of being in my own body.
So much happened in that 30 seconds when we were asked to set an intention for our practice. I didn’t even know where to begin. So I started with the most basic form that I needed: to forgive. To forgive myself, To forgive the fact that, maybe, I wouldn’t be able to make it through this class without tears running down my face. Forgive.
I didn’t make it through that class standing. I could tell you it was a combination of things that held me back. Mainly the altitude of my new city-They were right, altitude is a bitch in Boulder.
But with every exhale I pushed through a pose. With every inhale I wanted to be in the moment. With my next exahle I pushed out doubt. With my inhale, I pulled in courage. Stength. Perseverance. Desire. I sat down through a lot of the poses in that hot room-my breakfast on a constant verge of pulling up. But somehow, someway, I laid down in savasana with my intention met. I forgave myself for not being able to get through every single pose. I sat there in silence, the energy in the room pulsing around me. It wasn’t glorious by any means. The fat sweaty man next to me smelled like a broke down farm animal. The “push it to the limit” chick to my left was breathing warrrior breaths like she was trying to prove something. And there was me, breathing quieter than anyone else because really all I wanted to do was sink into the ground. I laid there recognizing that I had reached my intention for the past hour, however limited it might have seemed. In that hour forgave myself for not making it through that class matching up to someone else’s expectation of what I could have/should have done. I made it through the class with the best I could have done.
Breathe in, belly rise. Breathe out, belly fall.
I rolled up my mat. I wiped my sweaty skin with my towel. I bowed my head in gratitude for my practice and I moved out, panting slightly, but more actualized than I had felt in months. I have set an intention for the rest of my day, my life, my lifetime. Forgive myself. Forgive others-we are all carrying a heavy burden in the (sometimes bullshit) practice we call Life. Namaste.