When I stumbled into my first hot yoga class back in September 2012, I will admit that I was beyond intimidated.
I was about 35 lbs over my normal, pre-baby weight, give or take a burrito or two, stressed out beyond belief, tired, lost, and uncomfortable in my own skin. As I sat there on my $8 Marshall’s mat, drowning in self-loathing and beating myself up for even coming in the first place, into the humid room pranced about 10-15 twenty two year old chicas sporting perfect yoga buns, all the right gear and wearing skin tight Lululemon outfits accompanied with matching hair accessories. I tried not to stare, but they were all so beautiful – it was difficult not to. And down I went, down the dangerous path of being mean to myself, because certainly they were being beautiful AT me (or so I felt).
As much as I attempted to shut out my grandiose insecurities over the next 75 minutes of the class, they crept in and set up shop for a good, long while.
I judged each and every one of those girls in their yogic perfection that day, all while I swore to myself that I would never purchase Lululemon yoga gear.
Which brings us to September 2013. I celebrated my one year anniversary at Hotbox yoga, which marked many enormous milestones in my life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In that short span of time, I lost the 35 lbs, turned the rest into muscle and most importantly, I worked my ASS off for the first consistent time of my adult life to accomplish my personal goals! Woot woot!
And I celebrated by purchasing my very own, beautiful, blue, Lululemon yoga mat
I know, I know. I had done the unthinkable! Or…have I?
So…what made me do it?
1. I am all about being thrifty, but sometimes, you get what you pay for, and performance gear is one of those things.
-I no longer slip off my mat moving from one pose to another.
-My mat doesn’t smell like wet dog anymore – you’re welcome everyone around me
2. I have shown enough dedication to my yoga practice that I felt it appropriate that I have a nice piece of equipment.
And perhaps, the most important one:
3. Back in September 2012, those girls intimidated me with their perfection because I felt like the opposite of them and so desperately wanted to BE them. I understand completely that that part is ALL about me and my own insecurities. However, not one of them helped to make me feel any less uncomfortable or welcome that day, and I’m positive it was written all over my face, or my old mat, or my baggy t-shirt. It was like some secret, perfect sorority and I was 100% NOT invited.
I take my experience and make an effort in each class I attend to connect with the newbies, the ones that look afraid and nervous, and say something to make them less scared or just give a warm, welcoming smile – in hopes of getting rid of the Lululemon stigma and in hopes of creating a more loving, warm community in which we can all just practice our yoga and love ourselves for wherever we might be – in that moment.