I did it, finally, and it only took (insert long number of months/years here).
I had my first private training session in, let's see, probably 18 years. My good friend, who is a yoga teacher, has agreed to do a barter with me; we do her IT support, and she's teaching me yoga. We talked about this almost every time we saw each other, and finally, today we did it. She set us up in her sunroom, and it was indeed sunny today so it felt just great.
It was awkward for only about two minutes. And then, it was incredible. First of all, yoga done with proper instruction is nowhere nearly as painful as I thought it would be. And then there's my friend, C, who has the coolest, calmest, warmest demeanor. I can't read auras but hers would glow like a sunrise, if you can imagine that. So for a little over an hour, all I heard was her honeyed voice and a few gentle creaks of floorboards, while she led me, demonstrated moves, and gently pushed my body into the proper position until I'd make an "Ohh!" of recognition, accompanied by the grunt of effort.
And you have to realize (especially if you haven't read my babbling before), I have just about the worst body issues of anyone I know. There is a constant stream of negativity coursing through not just my brain, but my entire bloodstream. My go-to jokes are self-depracating, and even though I'd never let my friends treat themselves this way, I am just mean as all fuck to myself.
So to be able to admit, for example, that I couldn't reach a certain point because (deep breath) my potbelly was in my own way... well, just typing that made me panicky, so saying it out loud was terrifying. And saying it out loud to a friend with a perfectly flat stomach and the kind of toned figure that would make Jillian Michaels lose control of her bowels.... you understand, right?
And finally, the really amazing point. I did this for me. Yes, I want to look better, be stronger and healthier, be an attractive wife, be a fitter mom, stop hearing my parents suggest that my life would be perfect if only I lost weight. (True story: they once said I'd likely have been the CEO of a company by now if only I were thin.) But I spent at least an hour in the company of a wonderful friend, doing something that felt great, and there was no guilt. No panic. No thoughts of other things I had to do. No comparing myself to anyone, even to C. No rush to get somewhere. No concerns of what I wore. No embarrassment about sweating. And yes, there was negativity about not being able to reach higher, bend farther, but only until C gently admonished me to stop trying to achieve, because yoga is something you practice.
And when it was nearly over, when I'd worked and sweated and swore a little and huffed and twisted, C gently adjusted my body into the healthiest position with my shoulders unclenched and my spine relaxed, and I closed my eyes and breathed in and breathed out. And felt so grateful, and so strong, and so good. And when she guided me into a sitting position with my eyes still closed, and wished for me strength and peace, tears leaked from my lashes. Because the gift she was giving me was so great, I was just spilled over.