This is a story I haven’t shared even with my husband. Hopefully, he finds it funny. 😉
My college boyfriend at the tail end of senior year talked a lot about how we could be that couple that works out together, like go jogging or go to the gym. I think I gave him a response like, “Uh huh. Sure. That sounds good.” Inside, I was panicking. First, I internally barfed at the idea of being that couple. But also, I was NOT the type of girl to go to the gym. I was scared of workout equipment and the grunting and the mirrors and the smell of stale sweat. I preferred to play sports – volleyball, hockey, basketball, football, you name it.
In that time, he also suggested I try yoga. My response was probably the same, “Uh huh. Sure. That sounds good.” Inside, I was rolling my eyes. Yoga (in 2003) sounded BORING. I looked at women’s magazines that suggested poses to tone up triceps or whatnot, and I found holding my arms in Warrior 2 for 2 minutes to be really uninspiring, especially in my college apartment where Doritos were calling my name.
I didn’t give yoga much thought after I graduated (and er… the college boyfriend after we broke up). I was still all about running (on my own) and pilates and volleyball. I needed to MOVE, to sweat, to feel utterly exhausted and sore.
Along came grad school. Back at the University of Texas, I was planning my wedding (to my now-husband), working on my masters thesis, putting in 20 hours at my internship and another 20 hours man’ing the computer lab. My thyroid broke. It affected my heart and my blood pressure, and I had no choice but to find something calm in my life.
And then, I found yoga. But it didn’t sound obnoxious the way my ex-boyfriend made it seem. I read through all the class listings at Gregory Gym and landed on an Iyengar class at a convenient time. My thyroid was all jacked up, so a focus on alignment and the beginner description sounded right for where I was in my physical state. Perhaps I was finally ready to accept yoga into my life then.
When graduation neared, I asked my teacher to recommend somewhere to go to continue my practice. I landed in a beginners ashtanga series at Yoga Yoga Westgate. And then everything else started falling into place. My physical health was getting back on track. I felt embodied for the first time in a long time. I became more mindful of what I ate, what I did, what I thought.
Yoga – the 8-limb path – wasn’t merely exercise. It became a lifestyle for me. And I guess the ex-boyfriend gets credit for planting that little seed so long ago.
Of course, my husband and I (before kids) became that couple who did yoga and exercised together. In retrospect, I can own up to our grossness.
What’s your beginning story to yoga?