Yoga meets you where you are

is my mantra. And really, I keep saying it over and over to myself. I'm trying to believe it. In just a couple of weeks, I'm starting the yoga teacher training program at Shakti Yoga. I'm really excited about deepening my practice and learning how to share it with others. I see lots of potential applications for it: teaching bigger people (you know -- folks (like me) who are intimidated or turned off or not accommodated by the perfect-body yogis), teaching people with chronic pain, teaching inner city kids who need a stress relief tool to help them succeed in school and the life beyond, working with moms-to-be. A lot of people feel like they aren't welcome in yoga or don't know how to approach it, and I'd like to change that.

But here I am, having trouble believing my own mantra. My body hurts from my rheumatoid arthritis, and I can't quite see how I will be able to practice or teach since I can't bend my knees or move my ankles or flex my wrists. I wonder what the others will think of me and my big, stiff, inflexible body. I don't want to be a curiosity or that poor woman who can't move. Yak. It isn't a competitive thing; I just wonder what it would be like to be another kind. It's the point -- I know. Yoga will meet me where I am when I move with the breath, when I breathe in and let my om join the sound of the universe. Maybe I should shut up and roll out my mat.