Over the past few years, I've been taking yoga classes, mainly sticking to "easy" yoga. You know, the classes where you stretch but don't sweat. I mistakenly came across a class called Hot Vinyasa where the heat is in the upper nineties and the class is very active. I adapted to the higher physical levels until I took one particular instructor's class. It. Nearly. Killed. Me.
Typically, after yoga classes I feel super energized and better than I felt going in. Jason's class completely intimidated me and I walked out feeling like I "failed." I couldn't keep up with what he asked of the class, even though he told us to go at our own pace. It was like being on America Ninja Warrior in the desert with yoga pants on. So, I avoided his classes like the plague. For months.
Until one day, I decided to face the giant. This time, I went into class without expectations of "doing well." My intention was to simply make it through the class without judging myself for my lack of stamina.
Well, what do you know?!?! I DID IT!!! A few weeks later, I sat in his class to observe his teaching style, as part of my Yoga Teacher Training requirements. Seeing how he constructs his classes and continually encourages his students, even as many are collapsing in fatigue, was inspirational.
In fact, I was so inspired that I actually seek out his classes to attend. I just left one and noticed that I walked out with confidence and pep in my step. My body is tired in a relaxed way. I didn't judge myself, even when I took a knee instead of remaining in three-legged planks (who even thinks of such a thing?) for three more breaths. Jason isn't exactly a Goliath, even though he is kind of tall with a large presence, but he has been a good life lesson for me: run to what scares me, rather than away. Even the scary shadow monster disappears when you approach it.