Yesterday I passed by the mirror quickly and just had to back up…. I took a long, slow gaze at myself and was enamored with how CUTE I am! I know that sounds silly or full of myself, but this is how I was feeling… cute!
For most of my life, I have never thought that someone would think of me as cute (although I secretly craved it). I spent many years hiding in the crowd with the rest of the wallflowers, afraid of standing out. Maybe that is why I really joined the Army – because I could hide in plain sight, camouflaged to fit in. Who knows… but it definitely was a place where if you are seen, you might get shot, so we were taught not to be seen!
But yesterday when I saw myself, I realized just how good it feels to be noticed and to be seen.
When I review my classes on Zoom, I totally crack myself up watching what I do. These days, I love seeing my quirky mannerisms and realizing what a great teacher I am and how my students feed my soul when I get to serve them.
That was not the case when we started doing virtual classes. I was literally terrified to see myself on camera. I had a poor self-image and would get embarrassed when reviewing class videos. All sorts of guilt and shame about how I hadn’t learned to do online classes sooner or taken better care of my body came up. I was so hung up on my appearance.
Because virtual classes were not going away, and it was the only way to reach my students, I chose to focus on the student experience vs. my broken thinking on body image. I wanted to make sure that my alignment was correct, the visual and audio were professional, and that the message I was sending was about yoga and not about me…. or was it?
Well, not about me per say…. but about US! One thing I have learned over the last two years is that yoga cannot exist without us. It is very powerful to practice and embrace yoga on your own, but it is a totally different, deeply profound and potent experience to practice yoga as a tribe or within community. I’m sure you have felt it too. Practicing in a group you get the benefit of the others in the room, sensing their energy, witnessing their struggle or victory, sitting in the peace or chaos, moving through joy or sorrow, we experience it together…. being seen and being in community.
So, let me ask you… have you been seen lately?
I delight in laying my eyes on your cute little faces and as we get closer to re-opening our doors. I certainly hope that you will venture out more and consider joining us for class in person this week. Our current temporary studio in Castle Hills is a great space to practice together. Consider this your formal invitation to roll out your mat on our floor and be in community with us again.
I thank you for seeing my heart poured out in these words. I really just wanted to say thank you all for hanging in there with us through these strange two years.
I see you,
Jenny teaches Rise & Shine, Relax & Renew and YOGAdaptive classes each week.