Tag

Imperfection Archives - Rakta Hot Yoga

Goodbye 2020

By Covid-19, Goal Setting, Health, Mindfulness, Transition, Values, Wellness, Yoga No Comments

I struggled to write an End of 2020 blog this month. What could I possibly say about this past year that hasn’t already been said? 2020 was over and I was over it. Not wanting to spend any more time or energy on the year that seemed to crush us all, I was thankful for the inspiration of Jennifer Aniston.

I love Jennifer Aniston. I’ve been a fan for years and still root for her to reunite with Brad. Scrolling through social media, I came across an article about Aniston. It featured a recent photo of Jen, kissing herself in the bathroom mirror, reminding us to give ourselves a little love. The article described how amazing Jen looks at age 51, attributing her beauty and wellbeing to her strict diet and fitness routine, her early morning lemon water and meditation regimen, and her collagen protein line. I found myself going down an all too familiar spiral of self-worthlessness: I am not enough. My downward spirals typically follow a sustained period of eating Hershey’s Kisses filled with Cherry Cordial Crème washed down with wine.

Maybe I should set my alarm for 4:15am to allow time for meditation before I teach. I could buy Jen’s organic collagen peptides, add spirulina to every meal, increase my cardio output, and ensure eight hours of quality sleep every night. I’m cracking the code to Jen’s secret!

My anxious spiral crashes into an epiphany: Jen doesn’t have two teenagers to raise and get off to college, a husband with a demanding and erratic work schedule, a small business to run in a remote alpine town, and goats to feed in -14F. Plus, LA’s climate is so much more forgiving on the skin, right?

Because Jen’s life is totally different from mine, there’s no reason I should hold myself up to her standards. I removed these out-of-place expectations and enjoyed a wonderful moment of real reflection and true contentment. I don’t need to change my life around to be like Jen or anyone else. I can keep meditating in the afternoons because that works for me. I can come to work with alfalfa stuck to my leggings—I love my messy, crazy life! And I’m grateful for my health! Knowing this euphoric feeling of confident self-love will likely be mercilessly fleeting, I decided to create one intention for this new year: contentment.

I will practice being content with where I am each and every day, even while I continue to grow, learn, and evolve. I’m not going to devise a detailed plan calculating the value of skinning up Mt. Werner, eating homegrown Fenugreek microgreens, climbing 1,000 vertical feet, drinking 18 ounces of freshly juiced celery, reading a New York Times Bestseller about personal development, or weighing the right amount by summertime.

As I reflect on this year at Rakta, I can honestly say I feel content. It has been a wild ride, but we have learned and grown so much. Offering online classes had always seemed like a good idea, but it wasn’t something I was inclined to add before 2020 forced my hand. Private and small group yoga also seemed like great ideas, but I was too busy establishing a perfectly cultivated variety of daily classes to pursue privates and small groups.

We had our moments though! When the mandatory mask rule was implemented this summer, class participation tanked. When the public health code decreased class size to 10% capacity, I wasn’t sure we would survive. Any time I began to question our ability to persevere, someone would inevitably express gratitude for the studio and our yoga community. People kept telling me Rakta was making a difference in their lives, and I found myself re-energized and ready to go again the next day.

The Rakta community has been amazing. The support (showing up on your mat), the trust (hanging in there with our virtual technical difficulties), and the dedication (continuing to practice yoga with us) have been such gifts. Our core community has become so connected. Although I used to miss the energy of a full room, there is a beautiful energy of practicing with our tight knit yoga family. I am content. And I am hopeful for a vibrant, healthy 2021 for all of us.

To those I haven’t seen since March, many blessings for a wonderful 2021. You are missed and I hope our paths will cross again soon. I want to end with the finishing quote from our final Fire Hot Series class of 2020.

“May Light always surround you; Hope kindle and rebound you. May your Hurts turn to Healing; Your Heart embrace Feeling. May Wounds become Wisdom; Every Kindness a Prism. May Laughter infect you; Your Passion resurrect you. May Goodness inspire your Deepest Desires. Through all that you Reach For, May your arms Never Tire. ” ~ D. Simone

In light and love, Sandy

Pushing Through Fear

By Goal Setting, Health, Yoga No Comments
Becky Kuhl
Becky Kuhl: strong and perfectly imperfect.

I love fitness. And now, I can officially call myself a fitness professional. I decided to change my career in my 40s which was super scary, but that’s not what I want to focus on right now. I eat, breathe, and dream about different exercises, programs, and playlists. I wake up in the morning and put on workout clothes. I’m 100% passionate about teaching Yoga Sculpt and training people one-on-one. What I do is important to me, and helping people through whatever they may be going through is where I want to be in life.

For continuing education credits for my personal training certificate, I decided (with encouragement from a good friend) to take the Level 1 CrossFit Trainer course. I’ve wanted to do it for a while, but it’s expensive and quite honestly I was nervous and scared. I saved my pennies and mustered up the courage to do it.

I showed up the first day nervous but ready to go. The coaches were absolutely amazing and inspirational. We broke out into small groups to practice movements and fine tune them. Very quickly I realized that my ability to perform certain movements to perfection was extremely challenging, if not almost impossible. Now what I’m about to say is not an excuse, but rather a reality. I have mobility issues in my shoulders and thoracic spine. I also have a pronounced lumbar curve. I even have a partial knee replacement, but that wasn’t causing my issues in these particular movements.

I went through the day trying my best to achieve perfection, but to no avail. It just wasn’t happening. That evening I went back to my parents’ house where I was staying and bawled. How can I coach and instruct others to do movements that I can’t achieve to perfection? My confidence was shattered, and what I eat, breathe, and dream (my passion) was being challenged.

After I got all my tears out, I was able to think more sensibly. First I thought about body mechanics, and how achieving the perfect position in a few of the movements was not ideal for me. I decided that those positions are good goals to work toward by working on my mobility issues, but knowing in the end, although I may improve, it may not be the perfect standard. Then I thought about what is safe. My lower back was aching that evening, so I knew that something was out of whack. I realized that forcing myself into a few different positions was not necessarily good for my body. I believe that body mechanics and technique are very important for injury prevention, but that may look a little different for different people and different bodies.

My last thought was: how great is it that I can have a different perspective? Ultimately, it will make me a better coach and instructor because I understand that everyone has different issues to work on and not everyone has the perfect athletic body, including myself! So, by the second day I had my confidence back along with a new perspective. Sometimes it takes a few tears to be able to overcome difficulty.

My point of sharing this is to hopefully build up your confidence. When you walk into yoga class, whatever modality, remember that you’re on your own journey. It doesn’t matter what the yogi next to you is doing or looks like. What matters is that you showed up because you want to improve, whether physically or spiritually. You have strengths and weaknesses. So does that person next to you who looks absolutely perfect. So stop judging yourself. And definitely stop comparing yourself. It’s been said that, “The enemy of contentment is comparison.” Give yourself some grace and high five the yogi next to you because everyone has their stuff that they may be hiding. Physically and emotionally. Even in that person who looks perfect. Encourage each other, love extremely, and have confidence that you’re right where you’re suppose to be.

Although my weekend started off rough, I was able to turn it around and become more empowered. I’m so happy I pushed past my fear. You never know what you may miss if fear holds you back.

Stay strong.

Love, Becky