Yoga and Travel Part 4 – Humility

I am a big advocate of doing the things that scare you. I don’t like living with fear, so if there is something that I generally don’t want to do (that isn’t actually harmful to my person) I will make myself try it. So if you are one of those people that are scoffing at yoga, I urge you to try it.
We as a species have a tendency to take ourselves a bit too seriously. Overly concerned about failing or looking silly. But the reality is without trying and failing there is no true growth. Actively being okay with looking silly is one of the hardest but most freeing feelings in the world. Getting out of our comfort zone is hard, but without it, without traveling or trying new things we are just stuck in a rut. That is certainly no way I want to live my life.
Here are some facts about my experiences in yoga class. I fall, a lot. I fall in front of other people just about every class. At first I was embarrassed but I have since learned (because people have told me) that everyone else in the class is afraid to fall. It doesn’t hurt, it is loud and disruptive and it is funny. And funny is good. People appreciate funny, especially when the mood seems tight and everyone is concentrating a little too hard.
I am not the best person in the room, not a single time have I been the best at yoga. I may have been the best in a particular pose but just like in life there is always someone in the room better than you. Don’t be envious of this person or fear them. Learn from them, respect them, and try harder next time.
I thought people would make fun of me. It’s a little out there for the area that I grew up in and I honestly thought it wasn’t something for me. I thought people would mock me for making it a regular part of my week. Turns out most people just thought I was brave, some people probably judged me but I liked it so much I stopped caring what other people thought of it.
I realized I do some really amazing things with my body. I have always struggled with body image issues, as most women have at one point. I am short and curvy and have a large amount of natural muscle. I will never be a super model and I learned that is okay, because I can hold those poses for a long time. The realization of that power feels good. It has helped me feel more comfortable in the body that I was born with.
I learned I have limitations. I won’t do headstands, they make me dizzy. Other people do headstands in class, and I do something else. At first it was hard to accept the fact that there was something I didn’t feel comfortable doing, but learning to accept my own limitation for my well being was important. It also helped me learn how to ignore that inner critique, the inner voice that is making up false judgment.
What you will certainly learn by trying out yoga is exactly how human you are. Your body has limitations. There are people in this world that are better and worse at something than you. Your body can learn and evolve and do something hard that it couldn’t do before. You will learn that your physical and emotional states are connected and that by moving your body you can help to process emotions. You will learn that hard work pays off and that sometimes you fall, you just have to learn to roll with it.
This is a long winded way of saying, doing yoga over the years has made me more confidant in myself but also more comfortable with my own short comings. I don’t take myself as seriously anymore, which helps immensely while traveling. I get less upset when things go wrong. All the ups and downs of travel are worth it even if you fall down in the street and embarrassed yourself in front of a bunch of locals (which I have done).
What was one of the more embarrassing moments in yoga and how did the experience help you in travel.

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