I almost didn’t go. It was cold and rainy outside. I had had a long day with the boys, and the thought of curling up on the couch with my favorite jogging pants, a glass of red wine and Ray Donovan was very appealing. But, maybe doing something different; physically leaving the house and moving my body will relieve some of the pent up stress of the day. The stress caused my multiple tantrums where I had to keep my cool…over and over again. I changed into my camo tights, sports bra and tank and made the the decision to go.
I opened the studio door, and walked into a sea of boots and runners in parking spaces by the front door. Peeking down the stairs to the reception desk, I finally found a place for my Hunters. I waited in line to check in, got my tag and told the girl which class I was here for. New to the studio? Yes. First time. I didn’t tell her it had been over 3 years, and 2 kids later since I’d stepped foot in a gym or yoga studio. She directed me to the change rooms, and that was all the information I got. Off I went.
Following the hurried people with their professional looking yoga mats, I made my way into the busy change room, hung up my coat and sweater and took my $10 Home Sense yoga mat, my purse and waited in line for class to start. So this is where all the young people in Ottawa are on a Thursday night at 7:30pm.
It felt really hot and sweaty in the line. Why does everyone have towels? Why are some of the guys in just bathing suits? People started moving towards the dark, steamy room. As I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other, I saw a big quote on the wall, “the time to hesitate is through.” Just the push I needed. Ok, let’s do this.
What I thought was going to be a simple yoga class, in a calm serene setting, turned out to be an intermediate, hot yoga class to 80’s music with 50 people jammed like sardines into a hot room. I quickly found a spot for my cheap blue mat. I wonder why no one took this prime spot at the back. Sweet. Oh, the mirrors are on this wall. I’m at the front. Crap. As I watched people warming up doing yoga handstands and other pretzel like moves, I had a feeling this wasn’t your typical yoga class.
Start warming up. Don’t show fear. Pretend you know what you’re doing. Fake it till you make it. You’re fit, you workout three times a week (even if it’s only for 15 minutes in the basement). You can do this. Repeat motivating thoughts in between yawns. I wish I was back on my couch in the safety and comfort of my home.
Class seems like it’s about to begin. I wonder where the teacher’s mat is. The class is starting and she’s telling us to do child’s pose. Oh crap. No teacher demo. I have to listen to the moves? It’s time to dig deep into days of practicing yoga, and get moving.
I have never sweat so much in my life. Not even during labour. During chair pose to chaturanga push-ups, repeat multiple times, I looked longingly at my neighbours delicious, dry, fast-absorbing towels, and looked sadly at my balls of soaking wet tissues that I kept desperately grabbing from the box that was luckily behind my cheap blue mat. My shoulders were sweating. Sweat was in my eyes. This was crazy, but so, so good.
Not only did I keep up in the class, I think I rocked it. Watching myself go through the moves, and keeping up with the other yogis, I thought back to all the hurdles I’d overcome in the last few years as my mom self. C-section, breastfeeding, VBAC, more trouble breastfeeding, daily pumping, sleepless nights, deciding to be a full-time stay-at-home mom. Why did overcoming a yoga class feel different than the other, seemingly more difficult challenges? I know why. It’s because I stepped into a world that my pre-mom self used to feel comfortable in, and realized I had no idea anymore. In my mom life, I feel confident. I go to playgroups, know how to strike up a conversation with other moms, navigate the grocery store with two kids with relative ease. In that life (for the most part) I got this. In this world, of young yogis in a cool downtown studio, I don’t got this. But, I did it anyways. I think I did a good job, and I want to do it again. I want to become a yogi.
Even though the amazingly fit and confident yoga teacher mat-shamed me (your yoga mat won’t work in my classes – it’s like a slip and slide); it felt so awesome to get out of my comfort zone. I used to teach swimming and piano lessons. Maybe I could teach yoga someday? It certainly compliments my background in nutrition. Maybe it will just become a much-needed escape from my amazing, but busy boys. Maybe I could get certified and teach at a resort in the Caribbean? Who knows, but what I know for sure, is nothing would have changed if I didn’t get my butt off the couch.
For all you stay-at-home moms out there who feel like your life is an endless cycle of laundry, cleaning, attending play groups and making it through tantrums, get out and do something that makes you uncomfortable. I’m confident it will end up making you feel awesome.