I took my first yoga class in the early 1990's. I had always wanted to try yoga, and with a recent divorce I felt ready to open myself up to something new and different.
I registered for a class at my local community college and I remember being super nervous for that first class. I didn’t know my way around campus, didn’t know what to expect from the class, and I wasn’t sure if yoga would really be for me.
As soon as I got back to my car after that first class I cried my eyes out. Maybe it was all the oxygen I took in. Maybe I was relieved that I had taken the first step, or the fact that I knew yoga had already changed me – with only one class. I was right where I belonged.
Competitive sports had never been fun for me, and I still suffered the sting of always being the last one chosen to be on the team in high school physical education classes. Man, I always hated that! My 7th grade gym teacher once told me that I ran like I was pulling a trailer, so I needless to say, my confidence level in any physical activity was pretty low.
As I continued to practice, yoga became a safe haven for me. When the stresses of a crazy work day threatened to rock my boat, I paused and took deep breaths. While standing in line at the grocery store waiting to pay, I used that time to check my posture – to stand tall with my feet planted and breathe deeply while I waited. I found that yoga calmed me, no matter what the situation was.
I also carried myself differently and I gained more confidence in my physical abilities. It took time and practice, but eventually I could do some of the more advanced poses, and the physical strength I gained was something I’d never experienced before.
That was many years ago, and I could write blog posts about yoga and my experiences with it every day for the next couple of years if I set my mind to it. But this is a blog for random, not yoga. Having a shoulder injury took me away from my yoga practice for a few years, but as of last Saturday I am back on my mat.
I registered for a class at my local community college, and I found my way through campus and into the classroom. I kept my eyes on the teacher and not my neighbor, and I honored myself through poses that were once effortless but now presented new challenges for me.
After class I cried a few happy tears when I got back to my car. Maybe it was all the oxygen I took in. Maybe I was relieved that I had taken my first step back to yoga, or the fact that I knew yoga had already changed me.
Oh yes, I am right where I belong.