• Kris

Societal Norms and Not Fitting In

Good afternoon (morning? night?) everyone in cyber space.


I've been spending a lot of time talking to my hubby about all of the thoughts, feelings, and things floating around in my brain. It helps to have someone to talk to that listens and has a completely and totally different viewpoint on life than you do, yet understands you really really well.


A few weeks ago, I talked about inclusion in yoga and the difference between those super intimidating flashy photos of people doing yoga and the Yoga for Any Body movement. I love that movement. Just the other day, I got involved in a lively online discussion about that concept.


****I am not trying to get sympathy or steal anyone else's attention. I am not discounting the difficulties of anyone.***


The person that started the discussion had posted that she didn't feel like there was any part of yoga that would be welcoming to her. I understand where she is coming from. This discussion ended up being quite long and emotional. A lot of the commenters felt the same way. And honestly, I do too a lot of the time. This subgroup that feels left out is the not-super-fit-for-flashy-model-but-not-super-unfit-not-young-but-also-not-old-kinda-pudgy-mid30s-to-mid-50s group. And honestly, I get that. When you are around my size, condition, and age, and people find out you're a yoga instructor they kinda snicker and roll their eyes.



I used to be amazingly fit. Solid muscle, tiny, all of that. Back 10 years ago. I have become softer and smooshier. I am trying to return to my previous powerhouse state, but it takes a lot of work. Back when I was as hard bodied as I was, I wasn't working, I was financially stable. I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted because I was single and had absolutely nothing to stop me. I ate very differently than I do now, I worked out for several hours every day. When I wasn't at the gym, I was out hiking, dancing, or somehow else being physically active. I spent almost NO time at home, I took my one responsibility, my dog, with me almost everywhere. I literally never worried about another human being.


I am now married, I own a house, I have two adorable cats to take care of. I have responsibilities. I can't spend 6-8 hours a day working out. My husband also has responsibilities. We can't just not be around ever. And, we are in our 40's now. Things change. I love where I am right now.



I also really, really try not to judge people. You absolutely never know what a person is going through. I have an invisible illness. It's hard. Sometimes, my body literally stops working with me. My heart does whatever it wants, my nervous system starts misfiring. I have to watch my stress levels, my food intake, my sleep patterns, so many things. To the casual observer, it probably looks like I just choose not to do a lot of "normal" things. I CANNOT work a standard 40 hour a week job. Trust me, I've tried. I worked in education for over 12 years and was in and out of the hospital because of it. Every time I have tried to work "normal" hours, at a "real" job I spend A LOT of time in the hospital. My body just rejects it. There is absolutely no way I can "build up to it" or just "get over it".


I remember back when I was working out insane amounts of hours and eating a very different diet, someone once said to me, "if you can do this, there is absolutely no reason you can't go back to a full time job. It's exactly the same." But, it isn't exactly the same. I was able to stop when I needed to stop, eat when I needed to eat, rest/sleep when I needed sleep. I didn't have to maintain a forced schedule or work load. I didn't HAVE to do anything except what my body wanted me to do. And because of that, I was able to actually work out more and eat better. I have yet to find a "real" job that just lets you do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it.


All of this is why I try really hard to help other people and support them. It is my choice in life to support people in their struggles instead of tearing them down and telling them what I think they "should" look like, be like, or do.


This world is tough enough, why not make it a little easier?


It is because I don't fit any mold in particular that I sometimes feel so completely left out of the yoga industry. It is also because I don't fit any mold in particular that I try to encourage each and every person I meet to find something they enjoy and to do it, even if they think they look ridiculous.


As always, I am here for you. If you need someone to talk to, want my help with something, or just need to know that you are in a safe supportive place, I've got you.


Love you all,

Kris





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