Inspiring Yogi | Elise Wattman
Today we feature a lovely member of the Denton studio named Elise. Elise has been practicing at the studio since July of 2016 and has been a dedicated yogi both to her practice as well as a wonderful presence in the community aspect of Inspire Yoga Denton. We are excited to feature her story today. Shower her with some love in the comments!
The very first yoga class I tried at Inspire was a $5 Karma class in the HOT HOT summer. I felt goofy trying to figure out the poses, looking around at everyone else and slipping in my own sweat. Even though I didn’t know the particular names for the poses or even what “flow” was, I could tell in that class that I was okay not knowing what I was doing. This was what first attracted me to yoga: who you ARE is where you ARE right now. I struggle with accepting myself where I am. I have so many personal goals, ideas and things to strive for, but my expectations for where I want to be and what I should be doing often inhibit me from actually moving forward… I find myself keeping busy with anything that will distract me from the things which will actually help me grow. There is something powerful when I am in yoga class feeling like my pose is weird, but Nancy says “Don’t worry about what you look like or what you should be doing, this is YOUR YOGA. Where you ARE in this moment is your yoga.” I have taken her words and the wisdom of yoga into my life in many ways.
I have taken this wisdom into my career: I am a pianist so my job is built on performance. Yoga teaches me that I don’t need to worry if I don’t perform in a certain way; the music I play today is my talent, it is where I am right now. I’m learning to reject the fear that I’m not meeting expectations and instead to work hard and invest in practice; this is something to celebrate!
I have also taken this wisdom into my relationships: being in a moment with a person in a real way is the best thing you can give them. I have a crazy-busy mind, so the discipline I have learned from yoga of being present really helps me stay in a conversation, even if it’s a difficult one!
Finally, breathing. I can feel my body learning from the moments in yoga when I breathe to calm my mind and stay in a tricky pose. “Stay here, you are okay, you can exist even in stillness, be here right now.” Recently I was upset during a conversation with someone I love, and I wanted to run out of the room because it was really hard. Instead, I took a deep breath and it helped. I stayed. This is what the practice of breathing in yoga is teaching me.
Also, I met a new best friend here at Inspire — shout out to Jenni! I really appreciate that Inspire is a community of people I enjoy being around. I’m encouraged by the familiar faces who come to class and do yoga beside me. It means a lot to me!