This weekend I went to a conference I’ve attended every year for the last 11 years. It’s a ton of fun, not at all about yoga but there are some yoga classes to take, and my go-to place for seeing most of my extended friends.
But there were two things I noticed that made a difference in my weekend.
The first was during my time working. Yes, of course I help run the event…I’m a type A personality with a penchant for organization! I help with the volunteers so before the event, the wednesday night stuffing bags for registration and the thursday-all day- get everybody into the event is a hard core time for me. I’m on my feet most of the time, running here to there (and this time in a much bigger hotel) and I’m usually a scattered mess by the time I’m done on thursday.
This year, I worked on my breath and kept myself cool, both literally and figuratively, as much as I could. The stress didn’t kick my ass like it has in the past and I was able to have a much more enjoyable start to my con. Some things still got me…like the migraine that I woke up with and lingered most of the day Friday but that’s just part of it.
The second thing, was sitting in a class on Friday afternoon, the presenter asked for a volunteer that could do a back bend. I tentatively raised my hand, both because I knew I *could* do it and because while I could, I knew there was going to be a reaction because of my size. I’m NOT an exhibitionist in the least, and willingly standing in front of a rather large crowd of strangers to do this was a test of my own will in some ways. While this con is super accepting and open body wise, it’s still not something most people would expect me to be able to do at my size, much less hold it. So there were audible gasps when I went up without issue, from the audience, and a few mumbled exclamations. I held the pose while the presenter said what he wanted to and came down to go back to my seat with a smile. My partner, who was sitting beside me said “You just shocked the shit out of everybody in this room.”
Good. They need to be shocked. They need to know that my size doesn’t hinder me and neither should theirs. They need to know that #everybodybends and #thisiswhatayogilookslike. So while I’m not an exhibitionist, I’m glad it made me smile, I’m glad it shocked them and I’m glad for expanding some minds with it, even just a little.
One other thing of note, a friend who I don’t get to see often sent me a message after seeing me to tell me that my energy was different and better than she had seen it in years when she saw me…and that was after a few hard moments I had to breath through. The fact that other people are starting to see the difference yoga makes in my life is a wonderful thing.