Place your mat on the front row
Sometimes when I leave hot yoga I feel high. Tonight is one of those nights! I have always said “I’m high on life” and I truly can’t understand why people resort to drugs and alcohol to get the natural feeling your body can produce on its own. I can enter the tunnel. I can feel myself floating. I am taken elsewhere as I rub my hands through my hair. It’s a natural feeling you get when you get to live and love life.
I sometimes use these opportunities where I am somewhere else to reflect. Tonight I saw how once again we allow others to occupy the space that belongs to us. As I placed my mat right next to the instructor, I noticed an entire row empty behind me. Only the woman that claims her spot by the wall is in the first row. She is right behind the bookshelf. Maybe more are scheduled to come and they are simply running late, I thought to myself. Unfortunately that was not the case.
Three days ago, I noticed how out of the five men that were in the hot yoga class, four of them were in the front row. I was a bit mad, yet it was so eye opening. It was painfully clear why they were there. The women in the room left the space empty for them to take.
As I sit here enjoying a glass of red wine and dark chocolate at hand, further enjoying the small pleasures of life, I am reminded of some of the reasons women continue to fall behind. A hot yoga class reminded me of that. Research shows that even accomplished women still don’t take the front row, speak up, or show up to the level (unaccomplished) men do.
In my life only men have been my mentors. Men have been the only ones willing to hold my hand and pull me forward. Men have been the ones to push me, challenge me, and provide me with opportunities to learn, excel and achieve more. They have encouraged and taught me so much. I thank those men profusely as I would not be where I am without them. Erwin, Ebe, Tío Alvin, Thank you.
I want more women to not only be mentors for other women but to show them we can, if we want, hold the same positions men do. So the next time we complain about not getting paid the same, or not having the same positions, think about what YOU can do differently to achieve that. Perhaps you simply need to place your yoga mat in the front row right behind or next to the teacher so that no one else takes the space that belongs to you.
They are simply taking the space we are not willing to occupy. Think about that!