Just breathe.

Last night, I did yoga for the first time in probably a month or more. My favorite to get back into it is a relaxing routine found on Netflix Watch Instantly, “Candlelight Yoga.” It’s perfect for right before bed.

I was feeling like I wasn’t going to be able to get much of a good stretch in, but that at least I would be starting the routine. Once I got going, though, I actually surprised myself. It always amazes me how quickly the body responds. And then I remember, if I do this every day, think of how great and limber you’ll be!

It took me a long time to get into yoga, because the “fat girl” perception is that it’s about twisting and contorting your body, requiring a lot of flexibility, and really, that’s not what makes you good at your practice. It’s all about the breathing and learning to release tension. Sure, that can eventually translate into releasing tension on and around the muscles to get very flexible and limber, but in the beginning, it should just be about breathing and feeling where the breath goes. Once I figured out how to “breathe out” a muscle, the stretching came very easily and naturally and felt correct for my body. That’s another thing to remember. Sometimes you’ll get a full stretch on in one pose, and then others you might only get 1/3 or 1/2 the way. Don’t tear anything, yoga’s a workout but also supposed to RELAX, remember?

I think yoga would have benefited me especially when I was heavier to allow me to connect more with my body. I had no care of really how I felt, or what I was doing to my body, because I didn’t understand that it was so valuable. I didn’t understand that there was another CHOICE (I believe now that obesity is a choice. There’s a way out of it for everyone, if you really want to live.) I had no knowledge that stretching and exercise could really make me feel better, despite how difficult and depressing it may have been during my attempts. Once you start to learn that your body is not just some blubbery flesh sock filled with blood and guts, and realize that your body is more of a vehicle, a home to yourself. Think about what happens when a car sits without moving. Tires rot, rust creeps up, engine gets filled with dirt and dust. You have to get it moving, get it running. Our bodies are no different.