A beautiful transformation that I will not soon forget.
This video was passed on to me by a few students. The transformation is so unbelievable that I got goosebumps. The thing that resonated with me the most though was how it all began. Arthur’s story reminds me of my own weightloss journey. He lived for 15 years gaining weight and unable to walk without cruches because that’s what they told him was the reality of the situation. But whose reality?
For Arthur all it took was one person with the belief that he could change and it short circuited all that other crap he had been fed. For me, when I was 19 I had a roommate Rich, who was a model that would take me to the gym and on runs at night. I remember the first run he took me on that was supposed to be a 5k but after a few wrong turns turned into more like an 8k. He was literally running in circles around me. I was so slow an elderly woman could walk faster. That was the furthest I had ever run! Countless nights he would take me on runs and at the end of each run we would go home and have a couple of beers and he would give me compliments like “you were so much faster”, or “remember when you could only do 3 miles?”. One in particular completely short circuited my belief system and that was “dude, you are getting so skinny!”. Skinny and Tanner were never uttered in the same sentence EVER! It’s like there was a glitch in the processor (my brain) and new information that was coming in all of a sudden started to be perceived in a different way. Within 3 months I lost 30+ lbs and have been obsessed with exercise, nutrition, and physical wellness.
Ironically for Arthur it was Diamond Dallas Page, a former WWF wrestler in his 50’s who for the last 10 years has been teaching “Yoga for Real Men”, and now what he calls DDP Yoga. I’ll get to the irony in a moment. DDP was injured himself from countless wrestling matches and had to end his career or risk permanent damage. When he started practicing yoga he could barely touch his knees! Over time he became back pain free and felt inspired to share what he learned with others. As the video shows, Arthur needed just one person to believe in him with conviction and tell him that he could make a change, and low and behold his belief system shifted from “I will never” to “yes I can, one day”/”never give up”!
The irony for me was that this past weekend we had a teacher training weekend and watched Enlighten Up, a documentary where a girl hires a journalist to immerse himself into yoga for 6 months to see how transformational it can be in his life. They travel the work to practice with many teachers, one of which is DDP. One of the trainees was slightly put off with his irreverence to the spirit of yoga. In one scene I believe he says “it’s not about namaste, it’s about T and A!”; making reference to the very hot, large chested, and scantily clothed women he had asked to join for practice. The trainee expressed her discontent and we talked about it briefly. I left it at: “For some people this is a gateway into practicing yoga and if they are able to gain some benefit from it, then it serves it’s purpose. There are many that would decry sacrilege at the abomination at what we call yoga at Y2, but people benefit from it.”
This video supports my argument.
In the movie, they try and answer “what is yoga?”. They conclude that there wasn’t a firm definition, that it was whatever you want it to be. I think that is the perfect definition. Some find a workout in yoga, while others find refuge from what they are dealing with in their lives. Some are seeking the freedom from back pain, while others are on the path to enlightenment. What ever yoga is for you is perfect for you right here and right now.
Going back to the impact that Rich had on my life, I might point ou that when I told Rich at the end of the Summer how big of an impact his words of encouragement had he said, “I was just bullshitting you! I just wanted to make you feel good!”. LOL. RIch is a car salesman by the way… 😉
Lift up those around. Give compliments just to see someone smile or make them feel good. Lift up those around you and they will be there to lift you up too.
If you have personal stories of how yoga has helped you or how someone in you life has inspired you to make a positive change in some way please share!