I went to a Yoga class. I got my sweat pants on and bought a bottle of water, said goodbye to my family and set off for unknown territory. It was a small, established class, I have never done Yoga before, and I don't do well at new things that involve other humans. I sat in the car for a few minutes debating whether or not to just forget the whole thing and go home where I know I'm safest. Recently, when I feel myself falter in this way I know that I have to act positively and boldly, and somehow I seem able to make myself do it. So with some hundred voices shouting in my head that I'm too fat, too old, too ugly, not posh and middle class enough, too loud and mouthy, just too much loud fat woman for people to take, I walked in to my first class.
So. I was without question the largest person in the room. I was, however, not the least fit. I stretched and felt self-conscious. I pulled at my top and my pants, adjusting them so that (I thought) no flab was exposed. I attempted every pose and rested during those that were far beyond my ability. After about half an hour I was really feeling stretched and warm, my heart rate was raised and my skin was glowing. I was enjoying myself! It was only in the final ten minutes where we rested in the dark, meditating, that I realised I had become completely unself-conscious. I had been utterly unaware of my appearance, size, exposed bits etc for at least half of the class. It was a revelation. It was freeing. I left the class feeling happy and confident, I conquered my chronic shyness (which manifests itself as brashness and inappropriate comedy!) and just spoke to people. I look forward to my next class on Monday. And I know it's a cliche but I really and truly feel taller.