No Contest

By Amy Rivera

I was twenty-three and stressed.  My whole life had been a contest. Only I didn’t know it.  I just knew I was constantly tense. On edge.

I had gone to a counselor with this vague feeling of unease.  She mentioned Yoga as a possible stress reliever. I didn’t know what Yoga was. I had heard of it. But it was yet a mystery to me. She jotted the address on a sticky note.  It was the only Yoga Studio in the town where I had spent the collective majority of my childhood.

“Iyengar Yoga,” the sign read.  

30084532768_2f8feae895_k.jpg

What the heck is, “Iyengar?”
Oh well. I’m here.  

I walked in, hopeful.  

By the end of my first class, I knew I wanted this to be a lifelong thing.  I was immediately “good at it.” That was late summer. By Thanksgiving, I knew the names of a ton of poses in Sanskrit, the original language used to name them; much like Latin is used to name parts of the body or animal species. I knew how to set up elaborate mountains of props in every supported pose.  I was the most flexible in class. Great Yogi material, right?

Next thing I knew, the Yoga teacher was inviting me to her Yoga Holiday Party.  You bet I was going to be there.  Ignore the fact that I didn’t really know anyone else who was going to be there.  Yoga is something I was good at. Something I’d shine in, no matter the occasion.  Because, remember, everything is a contest.

Lucky me; the whole party literally was a contest! A series of Yoga games, all won my Yours, Truly – the newly self-proclaimed Yogi.  I was so in my (habitual) element.  So, of course, I got an endorphin rush.  Funny, though, how quickly those go away.  How quickly they’re replaced by a kind of vague empty feeling.  Maybe even more unease. More tension.

The truth is, even though I had won all the games at the party, I didn’t win.  Not really. I didn’t form any relationships from winning. No one said, “Oooo…I want to spend time with her; I want to learn Yoga from her!”  It probably eliminated any chances of those people wanting anything to do with me.

Of course, it’s only in looking back that I can see any of this.  Back then, I still hadn’t learned that Yoga isn’t a contest. That LIFE isn’t a contest. Every time I would attend a Yoga class, I was too busy critiquing everyone to take a good look (or even a flimsy look!) at what was going on within myself.

Fast forward to now...

43953201011_9490db8ffa_k.jpg

A lot can happen in thirteen years.  A lot did happen. More importantly, I’ve noticed some changes on the inside.  

At some point, I realized that appearing to be the best Yogi in every class didn’t gain me a single thing.  And what’s more, it hit me that there is no such thing as

The Better Yogi

The Best Instructor

Or The Perfect…Anything.

There’s not a constant contest going on.  My ego would still like to think so.  But there really isn’t.

I used to practice in classes full of people, with my ego silently pleading to them, “Look at Me!  Love Me! Tell me I’m AMAZING!!!”

Lately, though, I’ve begun to crave a practice that happens in complete solitude.  I crave a space void of competition. A reality in which my own critical mind isn’t needed anymore.  A life in which mine is the only soul needed to be heard saying,

“I see you.  I love you. And, yes, you are amazing.”

42144620370_8125233f3c_k.jpg
line.png
Amy Rivera.png

Post by SiS Coach, Amy Rivera

Amy is an experienced Personal Trainer and certified Yoga Instructor. She helps her clients find a balanced approach to strength training and wellness to help them get healthy and strong for good.
”The strength I continue to find within myself plays such a big part in showing my daughters they have it within themselves, showing you that it’s within you, that it’s within your daughters…that it’s within every person.”  

Do you wish you had someone to REALLY support you FULLY to reach your goals through:

  • EXERCISE (specific to your unique life!), 

  • NUTRITION (specific for your unique body and goals!)

  • Accountability and mindset coaching

  • An approach that takes your long term health and lifestyle into account

  • Peer support from other like-minded women?

Through the unique sisterhood of our Sisters in Shape online client/coach community, women are changing. We know that our affordable, balanced and fully CUSTOMIZED approach to helping you crush your goals is what you've been looking for.

get started today >