Internal War to Warrior
For most of my life I felt uncomfortable in my body, lugging around an extra 30 or 40 pounds begrudgingly; believing my body to be a traitor, an inaccurate reflection of who I knew I was. Regardless of how I ate or exercised, the weight wouldn’t budge and I kept offering up an apology for how I looked.
Somehow I found my way to the yoga mat. I hid at the back of the room, next to a wall so that I only had to have one person near me. I froze when the teacher approached to give an assist, as I didn’t want any hands on my bulky middle or anyone trying to hold up my weight. I have been told that I never smiled in class. I look back now and realize that I was angry back then. I was at war with myself on my mat; at war with my body.
But I kept going back. I knew that yoga held something important for me.
One day, a yoga teacher came up to me and one of the things that she said was, “your practice is so strong.”…that was the beginning of my love affair with yoga. Those words allowed me to shift my focus and call a truce with my body. I began to pay attention to how my body felt in each pose, noticing changes in how long I could hold a pose, allowing myself to be assisted so that I could deepen my practice. My body didn’t change much in those early days, but how I felt about my body changed dramatically. I felt strong and beautiful when I did yoga; that feeling leaked into my everyday life.
Fast forward to the 40 Days for Revolution Program, where I got committed to a daily yoga practice and had to ask myself some hard questions about who I was, versus who I wanted to be. Layers were shed and I started to see a significant transformation in my body. This lead naturally into the Yoga Teacher Training program- more questions, more yoga = more transformation. As I began to let go of my old way of being, I began to find ease and peace in my body.
Now 30 pounds lighter I see the changes in my body, as well as my spirit. I am so grateful for those words that were spoken to me by a caring yoga teacher (and I have been blessed to have many of those in my life), it has truly altered the path of my life!
For anyone thinking about taking this journey, the hardest step is to focus on what your body needs and commit to it. Each person who comes to class will have a different personal journey to take. Yoga is not a competition of strength and flexibility, but about letting go and acknowledging your accomplishments – no matter how small. So, find your spot on your mat, take a deep breath in and out and believe in yourself. The rest, as they say, will be history.
~ Kari Morgan