Lindsey is one of my very best friends. She is also one of the fiercest, strongest, hardest working, renaissance women on the planet – as most of my friends are (cultivate that tribe ya’ll).
She runs a silly, sweet, and thoughtful blog, Hey Y’all it’s Lindsey, where she makes DIY so accessible and fun.This girl knows her oils and her crafts and I have every intention of following her Mini-Mala Tutorial before the year is out.
She is also a brilliant photographer who has been running her business, King’s Things Photography, in Mid – Missouri for several years and is just simply Killing It. The things she has been doing with nighttime shoots and star-y skies have been taking my breath away.
Anyway, I love her. I love collaborating with her. And I love any excuse to work less. So I asked her to write a guest blog for me. (And she totally fell for it, what a dummy.)
I left my request pretty open-ended but offered a few suggestions like how she’s cultivated her home practice, how to incorporate essential oils into a yoga practice, or if she had any cool yoga-ish crafts up her sleeve. But what she sent me was So Much Better.
Now I’m a pretty weepy individual anyway, but these words from my dear friend had tears rolling down my cheeks as I sat outside Starbucks drinking my tea.
Her honesty and her love struck me and I know we’ve all felt exactly like she does here.
A few months ago, Melody asked me if I would consider writing a post for her blog and I, of course, jumped at the opportunity. I love yoga, I love Mel, I love writing. This would be fun!
I sat down to write the thing and I felt a wave of fear immediately crash into my chest. Who the hell am I to be writing anything about yoga?? I maybe do 15 minutes of mild stretching every morning, most days I can’t even touch my toes in a forward bend and you can almost always bet that savasana is the longest, most enjoyable part of my practice. I’m pretty sure Mel’s Tykes are more advanced yogi’s than I.
How on earth could I justify contributing to a freaking yoga blog?? I panicked a little and, instead of writing anything, I found myself staring blankly at the empty word document in front of me for hours on end, watching the cursor sharply mock me. “You. Are. An. Impostor,” it blinked, “a fraud.”
I was just about to give up, pick up my phone and text Mel that I couldn’t do this, when suddenly I heard her voice ring out loudly in my ears:
“Yoga is about being present, Linds. You just have to show up somewhere. Anywhere.That’s it. That’s yoga.”
I paused, remembering the first time she told me this. We were sitting in a park on a beautiful Summer morning in Kansas City a few years ago, drinking coffee and catching up. At the time, I had a fixed image in my mind of what yoga was supposed to be: perfectly toned bodies, outrageous flexibility, fancy classes, expensive gear. Basically I thought it was everything a fitness magazine wants you to think Yoga is: a dreamy, healthy lifestyle that always seemed just a bit out of my reach.
So when Melody told me yoga was something far simpler than that, that it was something I was already doing, I was a bit taken aback. I asked her what she meant.
“We’re practicing yoga right now,” she said. “Our phones are away, we’re enjoying this beautiful day, giving each other our full attention, being fully present with each other. This is yoga. This right here.” She explained that yoga is not meant to turn you into a health and fitness super hero (though this can be a pleasant side-effect); it is first and foremost designed to help you be more in-tune with your body, your self and the world around you. It forces you to stop, focus on what it is you’re doing, and breathe.
This was an epiphany moment for me. I could do those things! At the very least, I could breathe, right?? So, maybe yoga wasn’t so far out of my reach after all. The lesson stuck.
So, lets fast forward back to me and my panic-induced writer’s block and the origin of this post. Remembering Mel’s lesson, I decided that instead of giving up I would put the phone down, close my eyes, take a deep breath and take a moment to be present with the task at hand. And in that moment I realized what I could do with this post. Instead of using it as a platform to gab about Yoga According to Lindsey (because seriously…who wants to read that?), I have decided that I’ll use this time and space to write you a yoga love letter.
You read that correctly: this post is a love letter written directly to you, my dear sweet reader friend. Because I know you. You hesitate to go to a yoga class because you’re not good enough or flexible enough or strong enough. Or maybe you don’t have enough time or can’t find the right yoga outfit or you can’t afford the fancy mat. Or maybe you’re afraid you’ll feel out-of-place in a yoga class or that you, like me, feel like maybe you’re imposter here. I feel this way all of the time, friend. All. of. the. time.
But the beautiful thing about yoga is that you don’t need the perfect body or the best gear or the most expensive class to practice (because goodness knows I have none of those things). You just need a few seconds, a deep breath and a moment to be in the room with yourself or with the people around you. It’s because of this that I am able to show up and practice every day.
Sometimes my practice includes my yoga mat, other times it just means I leave my phone in the other room while I have dinner with my boyfriend. Or that I walk my dog without my headphones so I can enjoy the silence of the trail early in the morning. Or I take a few seconds to sit quietly with my coffee in the morning before I dive into my to-do list for the day.
The point is your yoga practice can look however you want it to look. It doesn’t have to come out of a fitness catalog or a magazine. Your only requirement is that you do what Mel taught me to do way back in that park in Kansas City…show up, be present, and breathe.
That’s it. That’s yoga. You can do this.
Lindsey my girl,
Thank you so much! Your words always touch me so deeply.
Let me know when you are ready to start that spin-off blog, Two Broke Hippies.
I love you.
Have you ever felt this way?
How do you incorporate Yoga into your daily life?
What helps you overcome the fear?
Also, go check out Lindsey’s blog right now. This is my 3rd time linking it in this one post, so you have no excuse. She’s also on Facebook and Instagram and I promise she is worth the follow.
I love you too.