Yoga Overwhelm

I'm Katy

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My experience with a yoga class starts days before I even go. I start thinking about a Monday morning class on Saturday. I find reasons not to go; I’m too fat, too out of shape, too tired, too busy, too whatever.

But then I catch myself and think, this isn’t very nice of me to say to myself. So, instead I move in to I am going to smell bad or what if an untimely bodily sound escapes me while I am in down dog, or what if I try a balance pose and then can’t do it, thereby falling in to my yogi neighbor? This little episode goes on for a few minutes until some other thought or task enters my mind.


After what likely is a full weekend of drinking, Sunday night rolls around. I am closer to actually making the decision to go by registering for the class online, as a punishment for said-weekend. This is the part where I start thinking about all the other things I have to do INSTEAD of go to yoga tomorrow. Like the dishes, the laundry, the work emails, the kids’ schedules, pretty much anything else that will give me an out.

No. Stop it. I am going. (Because, let’s be real, those “instead of” things don’t get done anyway.)

Monday morning chaos ensues;

Me: Where’s your backpack?
Me: I didn’t wear your shoes last.
Me: Do you or do you not want chocolate chips on your pancakes?
Me: Yes, we will go to the library this afternoon. (Probably not.)
Me: Did anyone let the dogs out?
Me: Yes, you have basketball practice tonight.
Me: Yes, you have to brush your teeth.

Kiss, kiss, kiss.
Love you, love you, love you.

Sound familiar? Guessing it’s like every other All-American household at 7:15am on a Monday morning.

Now, here I am, standing alone in my messy house surveying the damage from the weekend; a pile of dirty dishes and a full, clean dishwasher (< the worst), loads of dirty and clean laundry, by now intermingled (<< also the worst) and a red, number-filled circle above the mail app on my phone (<< I hate the red circles).

But, lucky for me, I hate chores more than my excuses, so I 5-4-3-2-1 myself to put on my “workout” yoga pants (I have my “pajama” yoga pants on) and get my ass out the door.

Here’s where the shit gets real. I happen to work at this health club, so on my way in the door I see ten people I know that are most certainly thinking to themselves, “Oh my God, I haven’t seen her in forever.” Except this time, they actually do say it out loud and now I feel like a real loser because I HAVEN’T been here in forever. This little sentiment is only coupled with the fact that my staff pass has expired, which means I haven’t been to A class in over a year.

I get it Universe; we’ve established the fact that I haven’t been here in a long time. You can move on from this now.

I quickly take my coat and hat off, which in and of itself is an act of bravery because ever since I chopped all of my hair off, I am stuck in short hair purgatory; too short to pull up, too long to be cute when wet and sweaty. I wake up every morning looking like a goat has been licking my head all night long.

I run for the darkness of the studio and of course, expecting that MY spot, in the back corner by the stereo where no can see me, has been reserved for the past 12 months. But, no. It has been stolen right out from underneathe me.

I frantically scan the room looking for more corners, but they are all taken. Ok, here, in front of this pillar, this will work. I roll out my shitty Costco mat and lay down on my back. Phew. If you knew how much energy and self-loathing it took to get here, you’d consider this a major accomplishment too.

I try to relax and focus. Try to push my insecurities aside while I “breathe in to it.” Ha. Except I am so fucking worried that my tampon is going to shift around in down dog, I can’t help but do Kegels. (TMI?)


Be grateful for the warmth of the heat lamps because it’s November and it’s freezing outside. Wait, did I turn my coat around when I hung it up so no one sees that it’s a size XXL?

Stop…just breathe.

The instructor turns up music and the lights (damn it) and I know we are about to get started. Too late to run for the door now. She asks us to set an intention for class, which has been the same one since I started practicing yoga 3 years ago; “don’t look at the clock”. Simple I know, but this is a serious problem for me. I can ruin a perfectly lovely class by seeing that it’s only 8:45am in an 8:30am class. But, today, I added on “let my self-judgement go”.

I pull my big girl pants up and start moving with the rest of the class, trying like hell not to worry about my cleavage or my stomach or my fat arms or my unruly hair or my red face or my slippery mat. And, right on cue about fifteen minutes in, I am already sweating and breathing so hard I can’t think of anything else anyway.

Mission accomplished.

I make it through the entire class (because what other choice did I have?) relatively unscathed to my favorite part: savasana. No squeakers, which of course was my biggest fear of all. Yes, my hair looks like shit, my face is beet red, my pants have fallen below my gut and I couldn’t hold my tree pose as long as the 65-year-old man next to me. But, I’m laying there, feeling my pulse against my bones, my bones against the earth, my breath moving in and out of my lungs and I am thankful I came.

And, here’s the kicker, I’m not thinking about what I look like. As a matter of fact, I start thinking how sad it was that I had all those fears that almost stopped me from coming. The thought crosses my mind about how much energy it took to think all of those things about myself.

Then, I go a little deeper.

So, I just spent all of this time worrying about how I look to everyone else…what if they are too? What if they woke up feeling insecure, or bloated, or hairy or stinky? It occurs to me I didn’t look around at one of my yogi neighbors in that class, which probably means they weren’t looking at me either. I couldn’t tell you who was there, what they were wearing, how their hair looked or if their pants had fallen below their belly.

And that’s just the superficial, surface crap.

What about all of the other things that take up the precious space in our minds; babies, baking, Barbies, college, camps, cravings, spouses, soccer, spaghetti, parents, pets, parties, pantries. The list could go on forever.

And, it does.

Sometimes I like to sit in my ivory tower and tell other people: “who gives a fuck what other people think of you?” And, here I was, freaking out about who gives a fuck about me.

Let’s flip this story on it’s head, shall we?

If I saw someone I hadn’t seen in a while, attending a class they used to come to, I’d probably say the same thing, “I haven’t seen you in forever”. And, just like those that said it to me, it would come from a place of good intention; it’s ACTUALLY good to see you. And, then I would probably go back in to my own world of endless chatter.

The truth is this, and this may be hard to hear: NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU AS YOU MUCH AS YOU THINK THEY DO. They just don’t. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own worlds, with overwhelming plates of things to do, say and give, they just don’t have the time or energy to worry about your belly.

But, how fucking awesome is that? We don’t need to worry about what other people worry about. We can just stay in our own lane, do the next healthy thing for ourselves.

So, what does this mean for you? It means find a place deep down to just get out the door. Get on your mat. Go for a run. Pick up a guitar. Write a paragraph. Sing a tune.
Try it.
You might hate it.
But you might not.

If it’s not yoga, find something you think you might, eventually, someday, maybe a long time from now, love. Something that might scare you just a little bit, and do it.

Something that you admire in someone else is a great place to start.

The insecurities and doubts and fear will be there. Push through them. I promise you will never regret the things you did, only the things you didn’t.

I know you think you can’t, but actually you can.

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

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