Walking Tall

feet walking on a path

{This post was originally published on October 12, 2010. It’s part of a series I’ll be re-sharing here about my journey toward myself through yoga.}

I’ve been noticing lately that after just a few weeks of consistent, dedicated yoga practice, I’m walking taller. My stride is more sure.

I don’t know the exact cause of this change. Maybe it’s the strengthening and development of my core muscles. Maybe it’s the strengthening and development of my confidence, my spirit, my “core”. Whatever it is, I know I’m not the only one who has noticed.

After seeing a friend at her baby shower recently, she sent me a message and mentioned that I looked great and should keep doing whatever it is I’ve been doing. At first, I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. I hadn’t lost a pound since the last time she’d seen me. But then I saw a photo of us at her shower and I saw what she saw. My smile was wide and I recognized a confidence, radiance even, that I’m not used to seeing in myself.

The same weekend as that shower, I was at the beach with a couple of girlfriends. At one point, as we walked along the boardwalk in the late summer breeze, chatting about our lives and catching up with one another, I realized my walk had changed. At some point over the last couple of months, I’d started standing taller. Shoulders down my back, heart open and head held high, my steps confident and solid.

It seems these changes in my appearance, at least in the way I stand and walk, started when I began practicing yoga more regularly, which makes complete sense. I am strengthening my core muscles, the ones that support my torso and hips, with every class I take. I’m strengthening my mind and spirit, too. I definitely feel more confident on and off the mat as I begin to see what my body is capable of, making progress in both basic and more complicated poses.

Then again, maybe that radiance and confidence has more to do with my recent breakup. I made the choice to move on with my life, with or without The Ex, and then, when he couldn’t go forward with me, I stood my ground and took that step alone. And here I am, still standing. Confident. Alive. Better at being me. Wavering now and then, but still standing despite the winds of emotion.

Maybe it’s the yoga. Maybe it’s my choices. Or maybe it’s something else. Some combination of things I’ve yet to recognize. Whatever it is, I’m happy to be walking tall.

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