Wear only a sports bra to a yoga class, take a photo and post it publicly on the internet for all to see. What was I thinking?
One month ago, I wrote a Big Hairy Audacious Goal on a piece of cardboard that said, “I have been featured on lululemon.com in a sports bra by July 1st!”. I had a lot of friends asking me why this was a BHAG. While some people have no problem heading into a hot yoga class sans shirt, I have always been a little shy of my body. So what better way to overcome my fear than to declare to the world that I will show my stomach off! This scary goal fit into my health, personal and career goals!
- Health: it motivated me to push my body a little harder when I worked out because I knew I was going to be wearing a sports bra in public and online.
- Personal: it helped me overcome my ego, as I was committed to doing it whether I was in my ‘ideal’ physique or not.
- Career: it pushed me to create and accomplish a BHAG and be featured on my company’s website for all to see!
In order to hold myself accountable, not only did I write my goal down, I shared it with the entire company through our internal communication channel and online for all of our guests to see. The response was a little overwhelming, but it was also empowering to see the support I got! For me, this wasn’t just about taking my shirt off and snapping a picture, it was about being comfortable in my own skin, literally.
Flash forward to July 1st. I woke up, packed my yoga gear, picked the hottest class on YYoga’s schedule and was on my way. I even specifically wore a long sleeve shirt as extra motivation to take off my top in class. As I walked up the stairs of the studio, I secretly had my fingers crossed that the class would be full and I would be turned away. I quickly pushed these thoughts aside and told myself, “Shawna, this is not a big deal".
I was the last one to join the class and ended up right in the middle of the room. I placed my yoga mat down and pondered the idea of wearing my long sleeve shirt for the whole class (it was moisture wicking after all).
Shawna letting go to achieve her BHAG.
I'm not going to lie, I kept my shirt on for the first 15 minutes of the hot yoga class and as a result I began to feel quite nauseous. Not because of the heat, but because of the internal conflict in my head and the increasing butterflies in my stomach. At that very moment, Will Blunderfield, an inspiring YYoga instructor, told the class to “just let go”. While it was a general statement to the class, in that moment I felt like he was speaking specifically to me. I took my shirt off and dedicated the rest of my practice to myself.
Forty-five minutes later, the class ended. While I admittedly had the urge to reach for my shirt a few times throughout the class, I didn’t. No one looked at me funny, no one judged my body and no one cared. So if no one else cared, why should I? In that class, I let go of more than just my shirt. I let go of my ego, my baggage and the barrier I put in front of myself.
Will I be able to let go and rock another class in just a sports bra? Yes.