In the beginning, I thought yoga was an exercise class that was mostly stretching. I loved stretching. I ran, I did aerobics, I rode my bike, all so I could get the reward at the end. I could stretch. When I first stepped into the yoga class, it was not that. It was actually overwhelming and intimidating. The “Oming” was weird, not knowing Sanskrit made me feel dumb (I’m bad a languages), it smelled strange, and the teacher was intense. The other students seemed to know what they were doing, all calmly stretching or sleeping maybe(?) as they lied on the floor before the class began. So there I was with my thoughts and judgements, only at the time I didn’t realize I had all these thoughts and judgements. Understanding the nature of my mind came later.
I wasn’t the person who had such an amazing first class. I didn’t “love” yoga from my first pose. My mind wasn’t instantly enlightened and full of goodness. I didn’t even really care much for it. But I did like the stretching, and I did sleep really well that night.
My pocket book made me stick with it more than anything else. I had already paid for the full session, and it wasn’t cheap. So I kept going. Every Monday night I would force myself to leave my sweet little boy, and go to yoga class. (Eh, who am I kidding, he was in his terrible twos, and I loved escaping to yoga. He was in bed asleep by the time I got home. Maybe that was the real reason I stuck with it. LOL!) I seriously did have to make myself go to class. I would walk up the stairs to the studio with butterflies in my stomach wondering what weird thing I would encounter that night in class. It was all pretty uncomfortable.
You’ve heard the quote that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, or growth only comes from discomfort. Well, all those weeks of being uncomfortable did something to me. I changed. I started to understand some of the basic principles of yoga. I was taught about the nature of the mind and spirit, the veils, the locks, even some yoga philosophy. It turned out I could put myself in some fun shapes, too.
At the end of the 12-week session, I signed up again. I was eager to find out what else there was to this thing called “yoga.”
The point of the story is that I hear you and I see you. I was there. I know yoga seems intimidating, weird, not for you, or [insert excuse here]. But I believe yoga is for everyone. Truly, every single being can benefit from practice. AND because of my yoga origins, I am sensitive to how things come across to new students. I welcome all, and do my best to meet you where you are. The planet needs more yogis, so please join me sometime.