Heyo. That’s what I say when I enter Midtown Yoga studio A on wednesday night at 8:15. Hey, Yo! Yolandrea (Yo) is a yoga teacher in Memphis, TN. I’ve known her for quite some time. Years, I would venture. Her class I would attend when I was low on cash and needed some flow in my life. At one point it was a “pay what you can” class – in which case I would pay between $0.00 and $3.00. I don’t see these “pay what you can” classes around town anymore, probably because they have been determined to be un-viable business choices.

What I do see, now, is “Community Classes”. Check it out. The standard “Drop-in” fee for a yoga class in Memphis, TN is $15 now. I don’t know when that happened, but it seems to be the general consensus. If you find a “Community Class”, all that means is it’s a lower price for the class – anywhere from $7-$11 depending on where you go.

If you didn’t know, now you know!

Yo’s Class
I enjoy Yo’s classes for several reasons. One of the things that makes her class super-enjoyable is she organizes it not just by poses, but by themes. Every class of hers that I’ve had the pleasure of attending has had a very carefully chosen playlist as the students trickle in. If you listen carefully, you may detect the theme from the playlist. Yo’s forethought and care in choosing the theme for the class makes the experience more meaningful for most of her students: maybe this is why her classes are usually packed with 30+ students!

This time, the theme was “Lean in”. Lean in to what? Lean into wherever you are. I love this frame (a frame is a way of being – a paradigm, if you will). When we lean into life, we must put ourselves in a place of total acceptance of where we are. For example, right now I’m leaning into the fact that my poly-dating choices, while created with total transparency and honesty, may not be really getting me the love that I want. I predicted this in my first 21 Day Yoga Challenge Blogpost, where I stated “I’m going to be sure that I’m not using the option to connect physically with multiple people or partners as a way to avoid letting them in emotionally. So transparency is paramount, with authentic heart connections taking precedence.”

There is a point that I need to talk about, because it is currently very challenging for me. I know that in order to make authentic connections with potential partners, I need to express interest overtly. In other words, let my attraction be known. This has never come easy for me, because I tend to be a very shy person. I went to Cooper Young Fest yesterday with some friends and ran into many beautiful people…but I was feeling very introverted and shy and did not expressly express any attraction. So no new numbers, or potential dates. I’ve been feeling shame about this point as well…there seems to be a vein of self-talk that says “If you’re polyamorous, you should be dating everyday and getting new numbers everyday”, but I question this. Part of “Leaning In” to this mentality is recognizing that I am where I am and that’s good enough.

The Importance of “Good Enough”

If I create any change from the place of not being “good enough”, it’s un-productive.
Feeling good enough already is the foundation upon which I choose to build my creations. If I am not feeling “good enough” (i.e. I have low self-esteem/confidence), then any creation will be distorted as a proving ground to prove to myself that I am, in fact, good enough. Another way of saying this is that the creation will be distorted; usurped by a sense of lack that needs to be filled.

Low self esteem is common in dysfunctional families, and it’s been something that I’ve dealt with for most of my life.

Here is a list of things that one can do to raise self esteem:
– Say “no” to plans – Self Esteem means valuing yourself. If you let others make plans for you, it’s fine. But if you let them do so to the extent where you are under-valuing yourself and your time, that’s where the line must be drawn. Saying “no” to plans means you stand up for yourself and your time. Don’t do this as a rule – be flexible – but understand that a symptom of low self-esteem is valuing others more than you value yourself.
– Take care of yourself – This goes hand in hand with saying no to plans. Valuing yourself means taking care of yourself, and sometimes taking care of yourself means saying no to plans. If this doesn’t sound right, try flipping the script. Check it out: If you place taking care of yourself as a priority, then you will have to say no to certain plans at some point. This means doing laundry, cleaning your house, doing the mini-maintanance things as acts of self-love. Keeping my space clean, laundry, grooming, excercise; these are all acts of self love for me.
– Encourage others – This one can create a huge shift. Confident people encourage others. An insecure person will tear others down. By encouraging others, we instill in them the things that we would like in ourselves. This isn’t a be-all-end-all solution to low self-confidence, but it helps.

Update
I’ve been behind on my blogging (about 4 days behind actually), so I forgot to take my levels.

Right now, thought, I’m feeling at like a 6.5 physically (I haven’t lifted weights in a few days). Mentally, I’m at a 7, Emotionally I’m at a 7.

Ultimately, I’m very pleased with the way that daily yoga has positively influenced my mental and emotional bodies. The change that I wanted (a 3 point increase) is here! Awesome.

Until next time, yoga on!