The other day I had just finished teaching two back-to-back classes at the Yoga Yard. I was feeling lighthearted and grateful after teaching, as always. It was 11am, and I was happily riding my bike home, just approaching Chunxiulu when suddenly, out of nowhere, I was accosted.
My attacker was riding an e-bike, a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. He looked at me disgustedly and in a harsh voice said, “Ni tai da le,” which translates to “You’re too big.” He repeated his insults several times as he stared me down and passed me by. I was dumbstruck; left breathless and shocked, hurt and confused.
I didn’t understand what I had done to deserve an outburst of this random man’s cruelty. To some this may seem like no big deal, however, I was deeply hurt. I am still dealing with insecurity around my post baby body. I am just now getting back into shape after having baby Kai five months ago. While every mother I know kindly says that I am doing fantastic and look beautiful, I spend nearly 20 hours a week in a yoga room filled with yogis, and there can be expectations for us teachers to look a certain way. I have been showing up just doing the best I can and staying positive knowing I have so much to offer my students, even if it’s not a perfect physique. When this man so rudely insulted and glared at me out of nowhere, I really didn’t know how to react or respond.
I really wanted to cry. I wanted to reach out to comforting friends so they could tell me how stupid this man was. Instead I went home and started praying for the man who hurt me.
Clearly he is upset and angry about something. I don’t know what it is or why he took it out on me, but in some ways, he chose the right person to yell at, because I will do my best to send him love. Every day, until I let go of his harsh words and feel healed, I wish the man who harassed me well. Maybe my positive vibes toward him will help him somehow, maybe not. There is no way he will ever know how he affected me or how I am choosing to respond. And that’s ok. I don’t know if he felt any better after attacking me, my guess is that he didn’t. I can only hope that maybe my positive thoughts will help him instead.
Theresa Pauline is a yoga teacher, social entrepreneur, momma, wife, and beijingkids contributor. You can find out more about her at www.taozitreeyoga.com
Photo: Courtesy of Ben Manthey