I had restorative and healing yoga therapy tonight that helped me work through the frustration I experienced in yesterday’s class. Afterwards, I asked my teacher – with whom I’d worked more often – how she would prefer students handle such experiences tactfully and diplomatically. She advised me to ask a teacher how to do the prep position for each pose that I feel I cannot do. She noted that the prep for the poses still provides health benefits and will still give me strength. She said, to my surprise, that she is grateful when students ask for modifications or to slow things down because it helps her understand where she is in her own process and to see that she might have missed a step and needs to come back.
I needed a teacher’s perspective because I wanted to know how to go into more challenging poses without possibly offending my teacher or coming off as rude, uncooperative, ungrateful, demanding, or difficult. I spent most of yesterday’s class worried that I were coming off like a spoiled child who did not want to do what was asked of her and was having a strop. I know now that I over thought this too much and that I care too much about what other people think of me.
I did the best thing I could have done for myself tonight: talked this through with someone whom I knew wouldn’t judge me and who could give me some practical advice on what to do differently next time that would better both myself and my environment. I also told myself something that I don’t often express: I am allowed to take up some space in the world. I spend so much time stressing and worrying that I have done the wrong thing or said the wrong thing or offended someone or behaved inappropriately, but there are times when I am allowed to take up some space in the world. It’s okay to ask for help when I need it, to talk to people when I need to sort things out, to allow others to support me through difficult experiences, and to ask for things to be modified. If I hadn’t spent a few extra minutes with my teacher after class tonight, I would have not only carried that frustration and sadness around, but responded the same way when I came up against similar problems in the future. Now that I have a useable way to sort through them and still actively participate in the yoga practice, I’m not as angry, sad, or frustrated as I was before.
I feel better.