Bracing the Present at 40: How Yoga helped Melissa Giordano
Below is an essay from Powerflow client Melissa Giordano about turning 40 and how yoga helped her embrace the present! Turning 40 can either be stagnant or pivotal. Dramatic or down right depressing. I chose pivotal. At 40, the novelty of motherhood had worn thin. Thin to the point of which I had broken almost every promise I had made to myself about the type of mother I wanted to be. My mind had become less than sharp, and my body felt like it belonged to someone else. At 40, it was time to turn back the hands of time, while heading boldly and strongly in to the future. At 40, it was time to embrace the present. I didn’t know it, but at 40, it was time for yoga. I entered my 1st yoga class almost 5 months ago. I was out of shape, my balance was poor, my stomach protruded, my arms were flabby, and my shoulders sagged – I won’t even mention the direction in which my butt was headed. I was vulnerable, and barely eager, and very skeptical. My muscles were worn, and overworked from carrying kids. I was sore most of the time. My heart raced just going from sitting to standing. How was I going to get through a hot yoga class without completely humiliating myself – or passing out? Well I did it. Three or four times a week, I put my housecleaning aside, and headed for Livingston Powerflow. That’s 4 hours a week. Hours I might have spent cleaning, or food shopping, or helping other people solve their problems, or talking about solving mine. Hours I would have had to double had I chosen any other method of exercise. My first class was intimidating. Let’s face it, most yogis have outstanding physique. And there I was – feeling somewhat awkward. But motherhood had made me strong. So at first I muscled through it. I learned to take from what I had, and build on what I didn’t. And quickly. I found some things (just a couple) that I was really good at. I picked a few things that I needed to work on. And slowly, the years, the stress, the bloating, the fat, the roadblocks, the worrying, the doubts, all began to fall away. Beneath it all, I found one very simple thing that would carry me through the most difficult of classes and most difficult of days…my breath. I didn’t get it at first. “Find it,” the instructors said. I ignored them. “Hear it”, ok… next time. “Feel it,”..maybe tomorrow. Until one day I did. Breathing is the first thing we do in life yet, so many of us forget its importance. We let it get shallow, and unimportant. Sometimes we even lose it. Yoga – breathe. I don’t have time. It’s true. My house is usually a mess…and it’s brand new, and I have lots of company. I have dishes in the sink until noon, and I rarely make my beds. I’m a neat freak, and a control freak…yet I’ve told my kids “Mommy’s going to yoga”, and have left them home with their Dad. I’ve even left my phone…in the CAR for 75 whole minutes. Once it fell into a puddle, and I left it there. It’s all so dangerously daring, I know. But what has been the result? My mind, my body, my heart, my vision, my ideas. They are back, they are mine. My family is proud of me. I am proud of myself. My muscles have gone from short and hidden, to long, and lean. Yes, I still have stretch marks, and loose skin, and weight to lose, but I am so strong and my clothes have found a whole new body to wrap themselves around. I set goals, and I follow through. And most important, I have learned to focus on the importance of little accomplishments instead of the end result. Life, after all, is a journey. At the end, is death. So where in the world was I rushing to? At 41, I can do a hell of a lot more than I could do at 40. In fact just today, I stood on my hands for almost 10 seconds – I couldn’t do that at 18. Yoga has given my MY life back. Now, I can share it with everyone else. Thank you Powerflow…Christina, Heather, Liza, Emma, Jackie, fellow yogis. Thank you for supporting me, correcting me, cheering me on, making me feel successful, and pushing me harder.