Thoughts on Yoga and Meditation
2011 was a transformative year in my life. A lot of things changed for me, in the way I saw and felt about myself. I mentioned in an earlier post that I do yoga on a regular basis. It’s something I started doing about 6 months ago, and it has really helped me view myself in a new way.
Last year, K told me that her small fitness studio was going to start offering yoga for men. It’s something I was thinking I needed for myself because I had been dealing with lower back pain, on and off, for a couple of years. My mind set going into the first class was that I wanted to improve my back, and that was it. I had heard about meditation, and the spiritual side of yoga, but I wasn’t really interested in it. I’ve never been too interested in religion and spirituality in most forms.
During most of the sessions, there were no other students, so it was just the instructor and I. I guess that yoga is still seen as a girly thing, I don’t know why. I’ve gotten a lot of personal attention from the instructor and, to say the least, my back has been doing great. During the sessions, you start and end the classes with meditation, where you sit, or lie down, quietly breathing, and keeping a clear mind. It’s unbelievably hard to stop your thoughts from wondering, at least for me, those thoughts were not trivial. During the meditation, I would have some deep reflection on who I am, who I was becoming. It was during these sessions, that I really began to accept who I was, and not to shy away from it, but to embrace it completely.
I’ve read from some other friends’ blogs about the idea of a gender spectrum. After some deep thought, I accepted and validated that I am not 100% M (for the lack of providing my full name), but that I am at times Katie as well. I’ve always been a shy and reserved person, and I’ve been trying to break out from that. By understanding who I am on a deep level, I’ve gained the confidence to start letting Katie out of that warm closet, and letting others get to know her.
The funny thing is that I had some of these thoughts even before starting yoga, but it was with yoga and meditation that I pulled all those thoughts together into a cohesive understanding of who I am as one person. It’s an unbelievable feeling, which words can’t describe, when you have such a level of conscious understanding of who you are.
One of the interesting things about the last couple of weeks, when meditating, I’ve tried to revalidate these thoughts about myself, but stopped. I stopped thinking about these feelings because I didn’t feel the need to revalidate them again. I understand and accept who I am, and there was no need to focus on those feelings anymore. I think I can now finally move beyond that, and try to focus while meditating, to keep a clear mind.
Beyond these benefits from yoga, I’ve gained a good friend who understands what it is to be self aware, and accepts me the way I am today. The instructor helped me realize that yoga was more than just back pain relief for me, but that it provided much, much, more, to my inner self. So if you are interested in yoga, but never took it up, I highly recommend it. It’s Katie and M approved!