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This morning I woke up at 8, had breakfast, and then decided to snooze before the 10:30am yoga class… Bad idea! The 10am alarm I’d set was quickly dismissed and I went back to sleep. I had a long dream where I went running (in flats and skinny jeans?) and couldn’t breathe. Then I bumped into my friends from Taiwan uni and they were going to… a yoga class. Celine and Melodie encouraged me to join them, and lent me some workout clothes… At this point my housemate Mansa knocked on my bedroom door and I woke up — discovered it was only 10:05, and so I decided to do Melodie and Celine proud and go to yoga after all.

When I first tried yoga 4 years ago, it was because Celine and Melodie were signing up for classes at our university in Taiwan. The teacher was an eccentric lady who brought her miniature poodle along and who occasionally forgot to speak Mandarin for the benefit of us foreigners and lapsed into Taiwanese. Thanks to the mirrors everywhere I couldn’t escape the fact that the girls around us were so skinny and so much better at everything; I couldn’t understand the instructions; I was lost, confused, and at a severe disadvantage, as well as horribly self-conscious of being white, foreign, unfit and inflexible, “chubby” (in comparison) and just all-out overwhelmed. A Type-A personality nightmare.

Celine and Melo had the right attitude and persevered. I went twice and then just gave up, even though I’d paid for a semester’s classes. Although my friends were a couple of years younger than me, they were far wiser. It took me several years to understand that it’s not about achieving, it’s about attempting. It’s not about being the best, it’s about trying your best. There will always be distractions, whether it’s a small dog running around the studio or the girl in front of you who wears a (stupid) jingly ankle bracelet. Just don’t give up trying!

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