I haven’t been super active in a long time. I used to walk a lot once-upon-a-time…in fact, walking was always one of my all-time favorite things. I used to travel often, and walking was always my way of exploring. I used to walk to and from work instead of taking the subway (assuming I had the time and that the weather permitted). It was always a great way for me to be outside, unwind, and to be alone with my thoughts.
As I have mentioned before, my fiancee and I own our own company. It has basically been a year and a half of sitting in front of a computer for very long stretches of time. I started to feel lethargic, started gaining more and more weight, but above all I started to feel incredibly stiff. My back would hurt every time I got up from a chair, my hips were always hurting, my neck would hurt from being hunched over at my desk… It was awful.
I had always heard about yoga, but had never tried it. My mom was always incredibly anti-yoga growing up – for religious reasons that I will never fully understand. None of my friends really did it growing up… it was just never something that I was exposed to outside of mainstream media.
My fiancee, Layla, had done yoga for a while years back and highly recommended it to me (I just read this aloud to her and she interrupted me to remind me that she had actually recommended pilates, but that yoga was a fine second choice!). One thing that has happened to me over time is that the heavier I have gotten the less I have been willing to try new things. I always fear looking like an incompetent idiot, or of my body just refusing to do something that seems to be easy to others.
There is a yoga studio that I had heard really good things about, but I was always way too scared of trying and failing. I decided to reach out about private lessons. My thoughts being that if I felt a bit more secure about myself and what I was doing before going into group classes, I would be more likely to stick with it. Plus, it would be nice to be able to move at my pace and not the collective pace.
It took me six months to work up my courage to follow-up with them after my initial email. Sutra Studio has a variety of teachers and I wanted to make sure that I was placed with someone who would be a good fit for me, so I included this in my email to them:
I co-founded a tech startup over a year ago. Unfortunately, that also meant that the past year and a half has been the most sedentary period of my life! I stopped going to the gym and/or walking everywhere and was working crazy hours. I gained just over 40 lbs in that time period, not that I was tiny before – I have always had a good chunk of meat on my bones – but, I definitely feel the difference. I am at the heaviest weight I have ever been at in my life, and I feel the results of that on a daily basis. I find myself lethargic and lacking in energy, my lower back and hips are constantly sore… and my flexibility has gone from ‘wow, you’re flexible for a chunky girl’ to ZERO 🙂 Friends have recommended yoga for a while, but I always found the excuses to get out of it… but, I realize that I have to do something to get myself out of this rut. I am hoping to find some time to de-stress, to just be in the moment … while (hopefully) not feeling too self-concious about my size, and at the same time gain back some flexibility and use this as a starting point to slowly start moving my body more and more.
I have had 4 private lessons so far and all I can say is this:
WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?!?!?!
I look forward to my weekly practice so much! It helps so much with my stress and my teacher, Lia, is amazing about meeting me where I am and about making sure I am okay meeting myself where I am without guilt. That studio definitely feels like a safe space to me. We focus on my core, on breathing, on just moving. I always feel incredible after – that isn’t to say that I am not sore or sweaty (dear lord, the amount I sweat in there is embarrassing – or it would be, if Lia wasn’t so awesome about it) – I just feel good about myself and proud of myself for moving my body.
It might not be for everyone, but I can’t imagine not having that hour to myself once a week. Hopefully, I can bump it up to two private lessons a week soon… and who knows, maybe some day I will feel good enough to join a class… with other people!
Have any of you tried any workouts that have been amazing for you?