I broke up with yoga for spin.
Yoga used to be my life, but when it started to kill my confidence, it was time to break up.
I was always the kid who couldn’t wait to get to the mountains, who taught herself how to snowboard, and who got obsessed with it. I slayed years of basketball through grade school, and then I got older and fell in love with yoga.
It was that first real crush. That feeling of strength and flexibility was intoxicating; it was a sacred place. I was an avid yogi; we’re talking 5+ days a week. For almost a decade, I was devoted to that Namaste.
But things started to shift for me. By day, I’m the Senior Communications Officer for CBC Edmonton. I’m a digital and social media marketer, and I get to promote the local CBC brand all over Edmonton and area; it’s a super fun gig. Part of the training you get when you study communications is around the unspoken messages in the media. I was starting to realize that my body wasn’t reflected in the marketing, the optics, the overall look and feel of yoga. And the more I started to observe the discomfort I was feeling, the more I realized that I needed to find a space where I could feel comfortable in my own skin; a place where all bodies are accepted, supported, and welcome. Don’t get me wrong: yoga is an amazing practice, and something I hold near and dear to my heart. It’s also very popular and serves so many people well. But I’m at a point in my life now where yoga no is no longer serving me in a positive way.
Our society has an image problem. We’re bombarded with mixed messaging surrounding what a healthy life needs to look like, and I’ve been working hard this year to unlearn all of the scripts and messaging that no longer serve me. Doesn’t it feel like nearly everything geared toward a healthy lifestyle is coded language for a diet and weightloss? It sucks. Taking time to push through negative imagery and messaging that try to dictate what the perfect woman’s body needs to look like takes work, because it’s sometimes harder to unlearn habits than it is to learn than for the first time. I think it’s working for me though, even if it sometimes feels like a long slog.
It feels like a revolutionary act to see all types of bodies in a workout class. I love that I can feel the muscles in my legs haul ass through the hardest hills, and I love that I feel like I’m flying when I’m sprinting, because it sure didn’t start that way. I have so much love for Edmonton. It’s full of communities that work hard to raise each other up, and I am very thankful to live in a place supported by its citizens. Spinunity is a community where everyone is welcome. You can work hard and feel like your best self without the pressure of conforming to look a certain way.
I’ll never forget the day I tried my first spin class, because it’s hard to forget moments in life that make you feel like you’re going to die. Just kidding (mostly). For over a year now, Spinunity has become my meditation, my alone time, an opportunity to push myself and exceed any limitations I might create. I live for the group activity; it keeps me accountable, and I love being part of a community filled with kind and inspiring people.
So, I broke up with yoga for spin. But it’s important to remember that all relationships take work. Some are harder than others – spin certainly is demanding. Difficult. There are still days where I feel like I’m going to die. But when I finish another class, surrounded by all types of bodies in a community where everyone is made welcome, I remember why I love spin. Why I made this choice. And why I continue to choose spin. I continue to choose me.
All photos above provided by WeAreYEG.
#ridersforlife #spinunity #sweatstories