I hate yoga. I hate it. But I recently find myself going at least 3 times a week. I watched yoga literally transform my best friends’ mind, body, and soul while going through a life changing event. It was amazing to watch and she tried to get me on board but at the time I was not interested. The thought of sitting in a room for an hour overthinking my current life crisis and namastaying was not my idea of a good time. I’d rather drink wine on my couch and overthink there. After moving to LA, I realized that’s all everyone there was doing. Drinking their meals and downward dogging. My bestie dangled a free week and a Groupon over my head and I caved. I was semi-hooked. Not because I was needing a zen like atmosphere, I was living in LA for God’s sake. No one there is pressed to do anything but be flaky and hike. It was a true workout and the instructor was a black woman. Where do I sign up?! I used my Groupon for a month of classes and forgot about it.
About a year later I left LA . The City of Angels was done with me for the time being and 212 was calling and we all know what that means…I booked the gig! But the studio I’d fallen in love with had yet to make it to the city so I chose New York Sports Club instead, that’s a whole ‘nother seedy conversation. I was back to not being excited about the regular practice of a heated workout. Side note. Workout classes in NYC are hella expensive. Like, I’ve paid more for a single class than I do a weekly metro card. It’s that serious! So when I got the email that the studio I fancied was opening up in NY I was over the effing moon! Finally! I used all my email addresses to receive a free week of classes and decided to look into an unlimited black card experience. All the classes you can handle for a monthly rate. I look up the details to find that the monthly rate was a little over $300/month. YES. The cost of a car note. The cost of a flight to Jamaica. All my utilities combined. So what did I do? I emailed corporate. You damn right I did. I let them HAVE it about this ridiculousness. Using key phrases like “I’d like to escalate this matter” and my levels of “disappointment”. Their response “you can join our staff to enjoy the perks by taking our classes?” Da hell?!! I’m telling you the ‘rent is too damn high’ and you say get a job loser. I was PISSED but was not that pressed to practice so I said to hell with y’all and yoga. I ain’t really like y’all anyway! Yoga can kiss my ass in a downward dog. So, I’m back at NYSC with their janky ass treadmills and dudes who can’t take a hint. I was sick of wearing my fake gym wedding ring that seems to attract MORE men. The need to cover my ass in my $90 Lulu Lemon jazz pants out of fear of unwarranted attention. But I was out of shape and needed to go but would leave feeling a piece of Popeyes chicken. The one you step to the side and wait 7 minutes for. So after about a year of this mess I received an email stating that my coveted studio had lowered its rates! Isn’t HE so faithful?! I squeeze this new affordable rate into my monthly budget and head to the studio. My first class back to the mat was amazing! I worked up a great sweat and felt strong but during the final chivas na of the class my eyes welled up. I was BALLING. Not one of those single tear releases but a chest heaving guttural cry out. At that very moment I final got how my bestie had found herself again or should I say renewed herself some 7 years ago on her yoga mat. I laid there and felt like my almost 37 years of heartache and abandonment and resentment and pain laid right there on my tear and sweat soaked TJ Maxx mat. I was literally running away from an integral part of healing, RELEASE. I was using every excuse to not go. The fear of stillness. The fear of crying in public. The fear of looking heartache in the face and accepting that everybody and everything is not your purpose. That angry corporate email stood as a metaphor for trying to make someone else responsible for my own healing. I surrendered that day and am still on the the path to healing my mind, body, and soul as I watched my bestie do some time ago. I’m so happy that the universe stepped in and God is guiding me. I still hate yoga. Between the sometimes unnecessary quotes and motivational speeches and the experience of being the only black woman in a class full of white women that pluck my nerves with their entitlement and personal space issues (another story) I’ve found a new healing ground. It’s only an hour a day but I’m en route to being a much more grounded woman. Standing in her power while downward dogging. Namaste.