A story about honesty from the girl who owns Sentiens but doesn't do yoga..
Written by Claire Keet
I thought I'd share a story with you about honesty.
Honesty. From the girl who owns a wellness brand and sells yoga mats.
But who doesn't do yoga.
It’s quite remarkable seeing how people respond when I tell them this. But what I find most intriguing is how I've found myself reacting to how people respond. Without any prompt, I've immediately started to justify why I don’t practice yoga. I've shared ALL of the details of my back injury with people who definitely have better ways to spend their time. I've always thrown in "...but I do exercise on Sentiens mats" - as if I need to offer a consolation prize. I've participated in Sentiens' own yoga challenges to the point that I've done quite serious damage to my back. (I mean, how could I own Sentiens and not be part of my brand's own yoga challenge?).
Up until fairly recently, I've dreaded the "...so how long have you been doing yoga?" question. I decided to stand back and asked myself why. Where did this sense of guilt come from? Why did I find it difficult to own my truth? Why was I not okay to stand behind where I was in my own wellness journey?
What my self-discovery eventually boiled down to was this:
Somewhere along the line, I'd painted a picture of what I thought the owner of Sentiens should look like. And she wasn't anywhere close to me. I painted her as a lithe, tanned little yogini who practices devoutly at all of the trendy studios around town, who drinks soy lattes and green juices with the 'who's who' of the yoga world and who dresses in nothing but sleek athleisure wear day in and day out. Who flits from studio to studio with her Sentiens mat and who twists into ALL of the 'impressive' yoga postures with ease.
I took a long hard look at this rather fucked up disconnect.
Where, why and how it had crept in - I don't know. Too much trawling the perfect pictures of Instagram? Maybe. Self criticism? Definitely.
It was time to kick this ridiculous yogini to the curb and embrace my own beautiful story again.
Yoga isn’t part of my wellness journey at the moment. And I can finally say that without flinching with guilt. After three years, I have finally found a way to manage my back injury. And it boils down to being strong and fit. My wellness routine involves strength training, slow easy runs and transcendental meditation. I often fall off the bandwagon and have to forgive myself and claw my way back up. I know that yoga will form part of my wellness soon. I need to start stretching now that I'm so active again. The difference is that I'm starting to feel a genuine calling to stretch... stiff hammies will shout loudly... and it's coming from my own body as opposed to the pressure to become something I'm not. I'm going to start in the comfort of my own home, most likely in my pyjamas, with online instruction. (Any suggestions for great online tools would be most welcome, by the way).
We are all on our own wellness journeys. For some people, that means a twice-daily practice sandwiching a trail run, a vegan poke bowl and a spinach smoothie. For some people, it’s getting through the day without being self-critical or eating too much sugar. For many it does not involve yoga yet; for many it does. Wellness looks different for everyone and there should be no judgement - most especially not from ourselves.