Let me preface this by saying that I consider myself to be a pretty open-minded person. I'm all for trying something more than once before I make any solidifying decisions about it. With that said, let's rewind to a couple years ago. Core Power Yoga had just opened a location on O'ahu, and everyone (really... I mean EVERYONE) kept raving to me how amazing their infamous Sculpt class was:
And man. Man oh man.
After I check in, the teacher asks me to grab some weights. Hold up. Weights?
Me: "Ummm, did you say weights? I signed up for yoga right?"
Perky teacher: "Yep! There should be some on the rack. Since this is your first time, you might want to grab the lighter 2-lb ones."
Oh, HELL NO. Does she know who I am? I'm a yoga teacher. Does this chick think I'm weak or something? Who does she think she is? Watch this- I'm going to grab the 5-lb weights. Pshhh. 2 lbs. I don't know what we're going to do with these damn weights, but whatever. I'm grabbing 5 lbs.
Class starts. It's pleasant, and nothing seems out of the ordinary, until... the weights.
Before I know it, we are in Virabhadrasana 2 doing bicep curls with weights. The two-sentence dialogue that ran through my head was on repeat the entire class:
"Are you F*%$ing kidding me?! THIS ISN'T F*%$ING YOGA."
And let's add to my frustration by the fact that I can't handle the 5-lb weights. Begrudgingly, I grab the 2-lb ones in the middle of class.
Class ends. I leave with a very curt "thank you" and a quick exit.
Like I said, I really do like to try something more than once before making any conclusions. So, I decided to give it another go. Plus, I wanted to take advantage of my new-student special with one week of free classes. (C'mon, let's be honest with that one). This time, I knew what to expect. I went in with the expectation that class would be a workout. Not yoga. A workout. With that expectation, I loved it! I had a good burn. A great sweat. We even danced a little. And I was on board.
Okay. Fast forward to now. I've been taking these Sculpt classes from time to time, always with the knowledge that they were merely fitness classes, not yoga. In fact, I took one yesterday. But this one was different. I don't know what made this one different. It just was. About halfway through class, I found myself in a zone. I was moving seamlessly in sync with my breath. It was beautiful. Everything and everyone faded away as my thinking brain turned off and my sensing brain turned on. Even the loud music and the teacher somehow disappeared. I was left in place of meditation, unconsciously coordinating breath and body. It was magical. It was the most "yogic" I've felt on my mat in a while.
After class, I realized, "Wow. I'm SUCH a hypocrite." I often preach to students that we can find yoga in anything we do, yet I couldn't let this Sculpt thing be yoga. Yoga is a practice of so many different things to me: self discovery, letting go, non-violence, movement, presence, creativity, and so much more. You name it, and it's probably on my list.... except Sculpt (until now!). I think I was more attached to what yoga should be or what yoga should look like that I couldn't allow it. How silly is that?! I guess witnessing my own hypocrisy is just a part of my yoga journey, which is good. It leads me to realize that yoga is what you make it. It's a journey. So cheers to the journey of 2-lb weights!