I have been the gym time since a very young age. A grown woman now, after giving two births, I begun not to feel comfortable with my body. Especially after the second pregnancy, I saw the skin around my belly to become looser and fat to accumulate in my thighs. “What do we do now?”, I asked myself.
I took, then, the decision to join the gym once again. I went the first day, then the second and the one after. However, I could feel that something was off. I realized, suddenly that all that equipment had nothing to offer me. “But why?”, I wondered, “I was the one that hit the gym for 4 hours straight!”.
One day, I dropped my older daughter off to school and on the way back I noticed a new Yoga Studio that had opened up recently in the neighborhood. As it was open I decided to ask for some information. Upon entering, I was welcomed by a smiling girl. I asked for information and I made clear that I have never had any experience with yoga before.
She informed about everything I needed to know and as I was leaving I told her that my body has changed, that it has become looser over time and that I want to get in shape as soon as possible – surely before summer! I asked her then could yoga offer me that?
The girl smiled at me sweetly and replied: “Don’t focus only on that. I believe it would be better to do something else. Don’t be so harsh on yourself. Give yourself, your body and your soul the time and space that it needs. Come whenever you want just to try and see how you feel about it. We will be here!”.
I left a slightly troubled. The same night, I checked the schedule to spot a beginner’s class. I decided to attend it. My husband would stay with the children, so I shouldn’t worry about them.
I put on my tights and my sport shoes, I grabbed a towel and off I went!
The first thing she told us is to breathe. “Why? Don’t I breathe anyway?”, I thought. When I eventually realized what she meant, I admit that I was at a loss! It was the first time that I focused on my breathing. It was the first time that I felt every move of my body. Then I heard an unfamiliar word: “Savasana!”. “What is that?”, I wondered. As if she read my thoughts, the lady next to me replied: “It’s the relaxation time”.
In the beginning I was thinking of the children that I left them with Giorgos – my husband, my life that has utterly changed, how strong I felt now that I am taking this yoga class, how is it possible to be that sweaty only by combining such movement and breathing, what does “Savasana” means, what will I do tomorrow and so on.
At some point I listened to the wonderful and peaceful voice of the instructor saying: “if your mind runs from one thought to another, you should focus only on your bellybutton and its natural, unforced movement as you breathe”. And I did just that. All of a sudden, I was cleared of every worrying or bothering thought. I let myself wander through my breathe.
When the class was over, the instructor asked me what did I think. I did not know what to say first! How was that possible? She was right: I had given space to myself. My loose belly wasn’t the issue anymore. I understood what BREATHING means. Like the first time I listened the breathing of my children.
After that much time, I am still doing my yoga and I can observe and, most importantly, feel the change. My body has changed. But the magic is that, this transformation came from the inside out. I see myself differently now. I finally realized what it means to attain self-consciousness.