Monday, March 29, 2010

To Yoga or Not to Yoga

Starting yoga last January was the first step I took towards making a change in my life. It had been something I’d wanted to try for years but always procrastinated about pursuing. Then my boyfriend’s membership at a local gym gave me the opportunity and motivation to join myself and start a weekly yoga class.

Fifteen months later, I feel amazing! I finally have decent upper body strength (yeah!) and I feel so much healthier. That feeling has driven me to become more active and to challenge myself physically (a la rock climbing). It has also proven to me that pursuing my interests will pay off.

So I felt a sense of loss tonight when my teacher announced that she’d only be teaching our class for one more month. But something she said at the end turned my initial sadness into admiration.

She ended her announcement by saying that when you make a decision; it is often at the sacrifice of something else. And while the choice was a difficult one for her, she knew that it was the right decision for herself.

My head started to spin as we started our meditation and downward dogs. All I could think of was how hard it would have been for me to make that same decision - knowing that I’d be letting down so many who counted on me. I envied her because I’ve always felt bound by others expectations.

It’s the reason why I’ve stayed at my current job for seven years…because the thought of leaving and disappointing my boss and co-workers has been too hard. And why I’ve stayed in the same city as my family because I know how devastated my mother would be if I moved away.

But now I’m starting to realize that your life is the only one you get and sometimes you have to be selfish in order to lead the life you want. I’m going to remember the lesson that my yoga teacher gave me tonight as I start to evaluate what I need in order to be happy, not what everybody else needs from me.

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