mirror, mirror on the yogic wall

Since having a life-balance-happiness epiphany in a yoga class in New York my friend Margaret brought me to in August, I’ve been trying to incorporate more of the practice into my life.

My first thought was to test a few different studios, taking advantage of the “one month unlimited” deals that many offer for new students. While studio hopping made me feel a bit of a yoga slut, it did expose me to some different places for relatively cheap. (They suck you in, make you like them, then triple the price, but it’s all in the name of inner harmony, right?)

My first stop was a small studio-not-to-be-named in Columbia Heights. The commute was awful. Parking was worse. And many who practice there eschew leg shaving. And some, deodorant. I know it sounds shallow, but I like my yoga pretty.

Next I tried Flow in Logan Circle. I like it there. A lot. Except its fiscally challenging location: next to Whole Foods and across the street from Lululemon. Though in a private deal I made with myself when I splurged on a regularly priced full month of unlimited classes, I can only go into Whole Foods if feeding my children is dependent upon it. And no more Lulu visits unless I forget to pack yoga pants. Unintentionally forget, that is.

Capitol Hill Yoga offers a pleasant setting and challenging classes that aren’t over-crowded, but the schedule rarely seems to work with mine. (Though for those who have workplace flexibility, I highly recommend the 4:00 class on Mondays taught by Joan.)

Last week, Nancy and her neighbor Riikka invited me to join them for hot yoga at Mind the Mat. And when I say invited, I mean I crashed on their plans to do yoga and then cook a fabulous holiday dinner. (But I made up for inserting myself by contributing my new favorite dish, Leek, Shiitake and Truffle Risotto.)

And this is where the mirror comes in.

I’d never done yoga in front of a mirror. After four relatively short months of yoga practice, I was feeling pretty good. In my heart, my “Warrior Two” is solid. I gracefully move from “Reverse the Warrior” to “Triangle Pose” with ease. I look strong and determined and lean. But the mirror told a different story… I was like who is this clumsy, uneven person trying to do yoga in front of me? Yeah. Right. That’s me.

But it’s not how you look, it’s how you feel. And I felt great after class. The ultimate and universal beauty advice applies across the board. Did you put on a few extra pounds over the holidays? But enjoy yourself doing it? It’s all good. Maybe you aren’t any closer to becoming a yoga instructor than you are into fitting into the jeans formerly known as your favorite pair. But if you are living honestly and happily, you’ll glow on the outside.

Just remind me never to bring a love interest to yoga class.

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